The city of Bamenda in the Northwest Region of Cameroon is being deserted following a massive deployment of troops from the military training camps of Koutaba and Yaounde with instructions to gun down anyone they deem a “threat.”
As early as 7:00 AM on December 9, 70-seater transport buses could be seen ferrying people out of the town in the hundreds after the killings of Thursday by gov’t forces. In a scene similar to what Cameroonians have previously only seen in formerly war ravaged countries like Liberia, Congo DRC among others, One woman could be seen with a bucket containing household items on her head, a backpack strapped to her back and a duffel bag in another hand heading out – to where, nobody knows.
At Finance Junction, one of the exit/entrance point in Bamenda, dozens of people lined up, ready to pay any amount as fare as long as they will be carted out of Bamenda in the fastest way possible.
Key business areas in Bamenda like SONAC Street, Ngeng Junction, Commercial Avenue, Mobil and others were in a complete lock down as everyone was indoors while others were finding their way out of town.
More heavily-armed troops drove into the town from Up Station and headed straight to Ayaba Hotel where the Prime Minister and other top government and CPDM officials had been trapped throughout the night after an irate crowd swore that the PM and Co. must “pay” for the lives of the young men they killed. It was only after the uniform men arrived the government-owned hotel that the CPDM leaders were escorted out of the hotel, under heavy security.
As their 4×4 “Prado’s” sped-off there were visible signs of damage on their vehicles – some with broken windscreens, dented tail lights and broken windows, damages coming from the mob rage of Thursday.
Bamenda which is always bubbling with activity especially during the Christmas Season is at a complete standstill and streets are deserted. Hearing of the December 8 insurrection, principals of some boarding schools around Bamenda that had defied the strike action called for by teachers, could be seen hurriedly asking their students to go home.
Sacred Heart College was attacked by an angry mob who demanded the head of Atanga Nji’s son who is allegedly enrolled in the school.
“We don’t know what can happen tomorrow,” said a teenage girl whose names we got just as Armelle. “I am from Bafoussam but I have grown and lived here for almost all my life. It’s just that now things don’t look safe here. I better go back to my place,” she lamented with anxiety written all over her face.
“I couldn’t sleep the whole night,” said one man who declined to give us any names. “I better go to my village now while I still can before things get any nastier than yesterday,” the man added.
Via CJ by Ngala Hansel