Ghost Town Claims Two Victims in Buea – Cameroon

Ghost towns were meant to be a form of civil disobedience across English-Speaking Cameroon. It was meant to force the government to stop its systematic attack on the socio-cultural values of Anglophones and treating them as second-class citizens in their own country.

However, as time has passed, ghost towns have become generating human ghosts. Two young men gave up their ghosts after being shot in broad daylight in the South West Regional Capital of Cameroon.

As the images and videos flooded social media, it became apparent, that as with many unresolved crimes being committed on a daily basis within the English-Speaking Regions, the truth of what actually happened, may never be known.

Some accounts state that the military drove by and shot the boys, one of whom has been identified to be a taxi driver. These accounts are however contradicted by some who claim that the boys were shot by renegades who felt that the victims were violating Ghost towns.

Ghost towns simply imply that no business is meant to operate on that day. This implies that people are forced to stay indoors. However, a few people do loiter around to grab some necessities, whenever they can. It will be recalled that the 17-Year-Old nursing mother, who was raped by ‘security’ personnel, also got attacked on a ghost town day.

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The difficulty in getting a clear account of what happened typifies the challenges that ghost towns are bringing on the population. As there are few or no persons around, these days have become fertile for illegal activities, both by hoodlums and the military, who happen to be the only ones who can dare walk about freely on such days.

In addition to the security challenges that ghost town days now pose, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what exactly to do on such days. In the same Buea for example, the Mayor has been reported to have gone out on such days to shut down businesses that are obeying the boycott and deflating the tires of taxis which are not operating. On the flip side, should these businesses and taximen choose to obey the mayor, they run the risk of being targeted by the ghost town enforcers.

The people are therefore caught in a difficult situation. It is hoped that with the up-coming elections taking place in Cameroon, there might be a change of leadership, ushering in a new president who will engage with the crisis and find a longlasting solution. Such a hope is, however, very slim, considering Biya’s history of rigging elections.

Cameroon High Commission London, Observe Ghost Town as Consortium Leaders go to Court in Yaounde

London Thursday 23rd March, 2017. 

It was meant to be a whole working day for the Cameroon High Commission, which according to its website, is open from 0930-1730 on Mondays to Fridays with the exception of UK and Cameroon Bank Holidays.

As it turned out, Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, was neither a bank holiday in the UK or Cameroon. Rather it was the day Anglophones, both in Cameroon and in the diaspora had agreed to hold a special ‘Ghost Town” in defiance of the decision of the Biya government to continue with the trial of civil society leaders and activists in a military court. Barrister Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem Neba, Mancho Bibixy, Hon. Chief Justice Ayah Paul Abine, and many other activists were abducted from the English-Speaking regions of Cameroon without adherence to any due process and taken to Yaounde the capital of Cameroon, where they have been remanded in a maximum security prison for over 2 months. Reports from Yaounde state that the case was again adjourned.

Barrister Agbor Balla and Mancho Bibixy Show the World and West Cameroonians that their Spirit cannot be crushed by the Biya Regime's brutality
Barrister Agbor Balla and Mancho Bibixy Show the World and West Cameroonians that their Spirit cannot be crushed by the Biya Regime’s brutality

Activists of West Cameroon Movement for Change and other sympathisers from sister groups in the UK had decided to go to the High Commission of Cameroon as a way of showing solidarity with those arrested and also as a way of observing the ghost towns.

By the time protesters arrived at 1400, they were surprised to find only some members of the  Metropolitan Police outside the High Commission together with some members of the public who turned up for a 1500 appointment to find the doors already closed for the day.

Activists of West Cameroon Movement for Change and other sympathisers from sister groups in the UK had decided to go to the High Commission of Cameroon as a way of showing solidarity with those arrested and also as a way of observing the ghost towns.

By the time protesters arrived at 1400, they were surprised to find only some members of the  Metropolitan Police outside the High Commission together with some members of the public who turned up for a 1500 appointment to find the doors already closed for the day

Sone eye-witnesses who had been there earlier reported that the High Commission had closed its doors at 1400, explaining to people coming for the collection of documents, visas, and passports that this was in response to the planned demonstration there later that afternoon.

The Community Campaigns Officer for WCMC Mr. Collins K. expressed appreciation to the Cameroon High Commission for doing the honourable thing and observing the ghost town as requested. He, therefore, went on to call on those present to end the demonstration at 2200, instead of all-night given that the High Commission’s decision to close early had made it a much successful day than anticipated.

It should be recalled that protesters of WCMC had on a previous occasion spent an entire night outside the High Commission, thereby preventing the acting High Commissioner from going home.

The Chairman of WCMC, Mr. Mykel Takie, in a statement, thanked all the members who made it to the protest. He also extended his gratitude to those who could not, due to other commitments, but sent in their moral support. He further explained that this struggle was not for the faint hearted, and called on all members to know it was a ‘Marathon and not a 100-meter race’.

WCMC is planning a visit to the BBC, where they intend to shame the Broadcasting House for its complicity in the ongoing crisis in Cameroon through its act of silence. Many feel let down by the BBC to whom they are required by British law to pay TV license.

Another protest at the French Embassy to demand a response to an earlier petition submitted is also planned.