Multiple fatalities and widespread destruction occurred in Kekukesim I and II, a community in Akwaya, Manyu Division, Cameroon’s South West region, following an assault by Ambazonia separatist fighters.
The deadly attack, which resulted in at least four deaths, occurred on the night of Friday, August 11, 2023, into Saturday, August 12, 2023.
Among those killed in the attack are four elderly people and a young man. Takem Elias Abang, the former village chairperson, is the only victim MMI has been able to identify at the time of this report.
According to local sources, houses were also burned, and several villagers are reported to be missing
Armed militants of the separatist Ambazonia movement stormed the village in what the villagers describe as ‘an invasion’, targeting armless villagers and their properties.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to you. My village has been completely destroyed too. All houses burned to ashes; four people were killed, and many have gone missing,” a villager who opted not to be named told MMI.
The fighters had instituted a reign of terror, exploiting the local community, according to reports from the community.
“The Amba became too demanding to the extent that the local communities could not bear it,” our source went on.
The local population decided to put a stop to their excesses and created a vigilante group against the fighters, which met a brutal response from the Ambazonia separatist fighters.
“They created a vigilante group to keep them away. But unfortunately, they never had support from anywhere, and the unthinkable happened on that Friday evening, breaking Saturday.”
Government Neglect in the Community
Locals claim that after the deadly attack, authorities have abandoned them.
Despite efforts to curb the excesses of the separatists, the government has largely focused on urban areas, leaving the most remote communities at the mercy of armed separatist fighters.
“What baffles me is that it is not making news as if we are not humans,” a villager lamented.
The educational sector has also been abandoned with no infrastructure.
“Sometimes I wonder if we are Cameroonians because even the primary schools created since the 1990s by the Cameroon government have no classrooms for the pupils to learn,” he said, stressing that, “if not for the effort of the communities to construct mud block rooms for the children,”
At the time of this report, the fighters were still roaming the village, spreading widespread fear among the population.
“Presently, the people are living in deplorable conditions in Danare II, a community in Boki local government area, Cross River State, Nigeria, and in Mamfe,” another member of the locality told MMI.
MMI reached out to one of the local authorities, who confirmed the attack on the community but blamed bad roads for their inability to intervene and help the locals.
Most communities in the Akwaya subdivision continue to bear the brunt of the separatist war in Anglophone Cameroon that has dragged on for over six years.
Similar incidents were reported in the past in the Messaka and Oliki communities, still in the Akwaya subdivision.