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 Military Fights to Maintain their Record in Barbarism

Some have argued that the videos had already been taken and stored in an archive, where they are being released. Some argue they were taken recently. It is difficult to tell from the videos exactly when they were taken. Some have even argued that the videos are taken at the same spot, which seems to be the execution area for the Cameroon military.

 

What is not difficult to see is the barbarism that takes place within these videos. As the war rages on in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, many commentators are worried that similar atrocities are being committed and might be released on a later date.

This video might not evoke the same feelings as it did in the last one involving women and children, but it seems to take the barbarism up a notch. The video shows a single man, sitting, blindfolded and hands tied to his back. He is about to be summarily executed, but one soldier thinks that death from gunshots will not inflict as much pain as he would love. So he goes on to use a machete to cut one of the man’s feet. Other, speaking in French, say ‘he will be taken by surprise’, meaning probably that the man will not be expecting the cut as he knows he is about to be shot. The man’s reaction is slower than one would expect from such sharp pain, maybe a bit disappointing for his torturers, who would have expected more. Probably, because he had already been tortured to the extent that he is numb to pain.

Mercifully, for the man, before he could begin to experience the excruciating pain inflicted on him by the cut, the order is given and many automatic weapons ring out. Listening to it, one would think that the army is attacking another battalion. But no! All those bullets are for one man, helplessly tied to the ground already bleeding and dying. He does not stand a chance.

It makes one wonder. Why are the Cameroon military exhibiting so much anger? Could it be because they are involved in wars against citizens of their own country, something they are not trained to do? If that were the case, then why do they not take out the anger on the one person, who is responsible for the dilapidation of the country?

The man in the video is accused of being a Boko Haram ‘terrorist’ but what one sees from the military, the reverse seems to be the case. They seem to be the ones carrying out the acts of terrorism that will forever haunt all who watch their gruesome videos.

 

Carrying the Cameroon Flag: Patriotism or Self-Preservation?

Growing up in Cameroon, the one thing I knew for sure about the Cameroon Flag, is th.at if one were passing by a police or military base while it was being hoisted and failed to stop and show respect, they will be in trouble.

I never understood the rationale behind being forced to show respect to the flag-actually, I still do not understand. Some will argue that it is a sign of patriotism, but I will content that patriotism should be something that comes from a deep sense of love for one’s country. On the other hand, I know for sure that the one reason I did stop for the flag, was always the fear of what would be done to me if I didn’t.

Looking, therefore, at the images of these Cameroonians holding the flag, with armed personnel standing nearby, I had to wonder what could be the motivation behind the “patriotic” act.

Could it be that these people, who clearly are living in a rundown, poverty-stricken neighbourhood, have suddenly discovered an upsurge of love for a country that takes away everything from them and gives back nothing in return? Or Could it be that they know that it is either they feign respect for the flag or run the risk of being killed and their villages burnt down by the military?

Anyone familiar with the Cameroon military’s recent record of killing unarmed women and children or killing young men and burning down their villages will surely decipher what the real situation is.

It does not require a rocket scientist to decode that these people are carrying that flag just to avoid being riddled with bullets and having their village burnt. It is a survival mechanism that some of us learned when we were youngsters, but which seems to be gaining relevance in a more ominous situation. Either respect the Cameroon Flag or face dire consequences.

17-Year-Old Raped by a ‘Security’ Personnel in Cameroon

Between uncontrollable sobs, she tries to recapture the gory moments. As her interlocutors film her and encourage her to tell her story, every single detail, she has no choice but to relive the horrible moments she is raped by someone who is paid by the State to protect her and keep her safe. This is the tale of many young girls in Cameroon.

This is one of the many tales of woe that streams every day from Cameroon, West of the Mungo. After a few hours of outcry on social media, a communique will be released indicating that the perpetrators have been arrested, and everyone will happily move on to the next gory story.

What has particularly struck me with this young girl’s story is that no one got to know her name as it is not mentioned in her video, yet everyone knows her face. Few people will remember her after a week when other events will overtake this, but she will live her whole life scarred by the incident.

She narrates how, she was stopped, asked for identification, which she did not have, and was subsequently raped, but her biggest fear, is that she could have been infected with a disease. The nursing mother of 17 pleads with her assailant hoping that it might deter him to know she is breastfeeding. That falls on deaf ears. The place is identified as Africa Petroleum at Veterinary Junction.

This case is symptomatic of the many unreported cases of teenage pregnancies and wanton rapes that have pervaded the English-Speaking regions of Cameroon. When the first batch of refugees fleeing the country arrived in Nigeria, it was reported that many of the teenage girls were pregnant. At the time, no one thought to ask the question. Could this have been through forced intercourse, due to the volatility of the situation?

As clearly indicated by the girl in our video, the reason there were no people to deter her assailant, was down to the fact that there was ‘Ghost Town’ on that day. This mandatory boycott of all activities on specified days of the week, far from having any impact on the government, has been affecting the very people it purports to be fighting for. Small businesses have gone burst and while citizens are indoors afraid to go out, the streets are manned by either state ‘security’ personnel or armed groups of ‘separatist fighters’ looking to enforce ghost towns. Another group, not reported are armed robbers who have taken advantage of the security vacuum to operate in broad daylight.

Unless the regime of Paul Biya takes active measures to engage with the current crisis, we will continue to see such images coming from Cameroon. We will continue to have kids being killed or raped, we will continue to live and wonder if that little girl has been infected by a disease, which she might ultimately pass on to her baby.

One act of sexual violence can have a lifetime of repercussions for the victim. And simply telling the world that the assailant has been arrested, without any information on whether the young girl in question has received any medical attention, does not resolve the problem. Simply arresting one rapist, does not provide protection for the millions of other girls who are at risk. Urgent action needs to be taken by the regime of Biya to address the situation. One of such actions does NOT involve calling an election for which the 86year old demagogue is also a candidate.

Cameroon: Biya Regime’s Monstrosity Exposed

Social media across the world has been outraged by a video of Cameroon miliary extrajudicially killing women and children in what appears to be the North of the Country.

As activists took to social media to denounce the acts that left some people traumatised, one would have expected that the Cameroon government would, for once, do the right thing. This, unfortunately, was not to be.

Instead of opening an investigation into the killings, Cameroon’s Minister of Communications – Issa Tchiroma Bakary – went on State television to proclaim the video ‘fake news’. There have been subsequent reports that an investigation will be opened. How far this will go is left to conjecture.

A release by Amnesty International, after careful analysis of the video, has presented credible evidence that the act was actually carried in Cameroon and by members of the Cameroon military, who can easily be identified. This is corroborated by A non-governmental organisation, the Network of Defenders of Human Rights in Central Africa, known by its French acronym REDHAC, which released a report stating that they had cross-checked details in the video and could attest to its authenticity.

This would not be the first time that such acts have been carried out in Cameroon. Since the beginning of the current crisis in the English-Speaking Regions, there have been several reports of similar extrajudicial killings and burning of villages by members of the Cameroon army. All such reports were challenged by Tchiroma, in the same manner, as he did with the current video.

Cameroon tethers on the brink of a civil war as Restoration forces of the proclaimed Federal Republic of Ambazonia have been engaged in violent confrontations with Cameroon’s security forces, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides.

In the midst of all these, Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya who has been in power since 1982, has not directly addressed the situation but has rather announced presidential elections slated to take place on October 7th, 2018.

This current situation exposes the monstrosity of the Cameroonian regime which has time and again, shown very little regard for civilian lives and would do anything to maintain its grip on power.