Investigations into the Mbengwi incident of December 8th, 2021, have begun to spring up, as The Center For Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) and Database of Atrocities have published findings, that have yet again proven that prior media reports on the incident are credible.
The NGOs concluded as earlier reported, that the act committed by elements of the BIR elite forces of the Cameroonian army, was a retaliatory move, after falling prey to an IED reportedly by The ADF Bamenda Brigade. The blast claimed many lives, with some being top-ranking officers of the unit, near the kernel mill junction, Mbengwi road, Bamenda.
According to this collective effort, eyewitnesses, amateur photos, and satellite images confirmed that the military conducted extrajudicial killings of civilians, with some burned to death while hiding in their houses.
The findings indicate that the manner, degree, and damage surface areas of the community at Mbengwi road and Hospital roundabout, reveals that the act was a deliberate intent to crumble the community.
In the above regard, while suggesting that the government trains its forces on Internationally unpardonable actions of violence extrajudicial killings, and burning of properties, the NGOs recommend that the State conducts an independent investigation and subsequently punish all involved in such atrocities during the Mbengwi road carnage.
The Military Further gets Implicated
While the Head of Communications for the armed forces, Col. Atonfack Guemo, representing the entire Cameroonian army has debunked completely its involvement in the killing, roasting of people and houses in Mbengwi, accusing the media of aligning in what is referred to as “ Ambazonian propaganda”, a video of the Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Mbengwi road drags the entire military leadership and foot soldiers in the mud.
According to the Pastor, the military had captured his 17-year-old son who left the parlor to get his bicycle, termed him Amba, and was about to be shot. “We were in the parlor when I heard a noise outside when they were hitting him I turned and discovered he was not around me. When I inquired from others, I was told he stepped out of the house”.
Adding that “as they cocked the gun to shoot him, I hurried and shouted, “am Pastor, he is my son”, they said I should come out if the boy is truly my son. As I opened the door, one of them shot towards me, when I suddenly bend down.
The pastor furthers that one of them had his leg on the boy’s head with a gun. In a panic, the pastor attempted to lock the door back when they advised him saying they will burn the house with its occupants, should he dare close it. “Then, they shot another bullet”.
When out of fear, Mr. Ernest reopened the door, they pulled him out. “They pulled me out, began hitting my legs with guns, took me up (pointing at a direction in the same building), asked me to lay on my son. One asked ‘Se ton fil’, I said yes, then he said again “ Vous etes le Amba”, I said no, am a pastor, he then said “Tu est le pastor de Amba, then he hit me with a gun”.
*Reputation of the Military and the supposed Reconstruction plan*
Many Cameroonians have before now expressed their opinions, downgrading the most preached Reconstruction Plan resulting from the 2019 major national dialogue, as a solution to the Southern Cameroon Secessionists war.
Despite the disbelieves in its success, the government still pushes for it, undoubtedly against the will of the main ringleaders of the Separatists war. Many wonder how the Cameroon government expects Southern Cameroonians to accompany her reconstruction plan while the military she controls unleashes terror on the innocent, destroying the little that is left.
At every point of the conflict, the military had expressed dissatisfaction with the anglophone’s level of collaboration with the military, accusing and arresting some, including journalists, for alleged involvements in Separatists activities.
The unprofessional act exhibited by the military in Mbengwi goes a long way to reveal why the population decides to stay isolated from the warring parties, an act which in most cases still ends up in arrest for keeping information, like the detained ex-girlfriend of Separatist General No Pity, Antoinette Kongnso.
Condemnations of the Mbengwi incident
Like other unfortunate killings and burnings associated with the Amazonian war for Independence, many national, and international organizations and figures expressed dissatisfaction with the act.
US Republican Senator, Jim Elroy Risch said after the Mbengwi carnage that the five-year-old conflict is a forgotten crisis, hence, it is time The US and The International Community channel the deserved attention, to end the atrocities of the warring parties.