At least three people were killed and several others injured on Sept. 7 by separatist fighters in Muea, a village in the South West region of Cameroon, for disobeying their two-week ghost town order.
The fighters had intercepted car owners around 7am and, after killing some, dumped their bodies on the highway. A few vehicles were also set ablaze. A gun battle then ensued when the country’s armed forces rushed to contain the situation.
“I went out to get bread since it’s hard to have fresh bread these days,” a resident told HumAngle. “Suddenly people started running and some people were whispering that ‘the boys were coming’. I didn’t even pay the boy who gave me the bread and started running too. We only came later to see that they have killed these people.”
Several boys were seized by the military and forced to sit by the roadside during a search they conducted as part of investigations into today’s happenings.
Muea as well as many villages in Fako division of the South West region have not been in support of the ghost town calls and boycotts levied by separatist fighters. Fako has been one of the least affected divisions in the socio-political crisis that has rocked Cameroon since 2016.
However, attacks in Muea seem to have multiplied since last year. In Sept. 2022, a good number of civilians sustained injuries from a separatist attack on a police post in the area. Since January 2023, the village has witnessed over three attacks, with several persons injured.
In an attempt to boost their cry for independence over the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, separatists have been imposing a series of boycotts to defy the President Paul Biya-led government.
The two-week ghost town declared by separatists from Sept. 4 to 14, is aimed at preventing schools from resuming effectively in the two English-speaking regions.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International Regional Director for West and Central Africa in a July 2023 report, called on Cameroonian authorities to investigate all allegations of human rights violations and other crimes committed in the context of the armed violence in the Anglophone regions.
Daoud also urged the government to prosecute and punish those responsible for such violations in fair trials and before independent, impartial and competent tribunals.
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