Anglophone separatists in Cameroon attacked workers and killed at least five of them as they left work at a banana plantation in the country’s Southwest region.
According to a witness who requested anonymity, the victims were on their way home from Mondoni Banana Estate on Feb 9.
Over 20 separatist fighters emerged from the bush, shot the driver and three others seated in front, killing them.
Others were able to flee into the plantation as the shooting continued. Dozens who sustained injuries were rushed to the plantation’s hospital in Tiko, a community in the Southwest.
During the attack, the gunmen repeatedly demanded why the victims violated a “stay-at-home” order from their separatist leaders.
Celebrations marking Cameroon’s youth day celebration on February 11 had been planned.
The victims are workers of state-owned Cameroon Development Corporation, an agro-industrial enterprise that grows rubber, palm oil and bananas.
This is not the first time separatist fighters are attacking workers of the Tiko branch of the corporation.
In 2019, they attacked the rubber plantation in Tiko, wounding 11 people. They have also launched a series of kidnappings on workers, demanding huge ransoms for their release. Others have seen their fingers and hands chopped off.
In 2020 the corporation reduced the number of employees from 20,000 to 6,000 due to incessant attacks.
It is yet to make any official statement on the recent attack.
On this 57th national youth day, like many others for the past six years, most towns and villages in the English-speaking regions of the Northwest and Southwest regions are observing a “stay-at-home” order.
Separatists have instituted stay at home orders since 2017 in a campaign against the government to push forward their separation from majority French-language Cameroon.
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