Close to a week after soldiers stormed the St Elizabeth Catholic General Hospital, Shisong in Kumbo, and tortured staff, authorities in the Division have remained silent. The soldiers committed the act on Sunday 14th of November but are yet to be reprimanded by their commanding officers or administrative head of Bui division where the hospital is found.
The silence is despite an official note informing them of the soldiers’ actions, by the facility’s Director, Dr. Sr Anshoma Helen Mbuoh.
In her note, the hospital director said “the soldiers were armed with sophisticated weapons and dressed in combat attire – a frightful scene for all especially for patients in a hospital setting. The military requested for the emergency unit of the hospital as they claimed to be searching for amba boys that were brought for treatment in the hospital that same morning.”
Disregarding even the hospital’s cardiac section, they conducted a search of the entire facility, checking units and wards. A portion of the note read: “The dispensary, admission room, men’s medical unit, the pediatric unit, the female medical unit, the surgical units I & II, the maternity and the theatre were all bumped into, with patients and little children and babies and pregnant women in all of them. All the private wards were opened and searched, but nothing suspicious was found.”
Frustrated they found nothing, the soldiers, the director said, issued threats to Reverend Sisters working at the hospital and went on to arrest two guards.
“The guards were asked at gunpoint to show where the Amba boys were hidden,” she said, but the method yielded no fruit too.
The soldiers, not satisfied with the guards’ explanation, she stated, “… exercised brute force on the security officers. They were severely beaten with the butts of the guns and kicked with their military boots. They all sustained injuries and swollen faces.”
Before leaving the hospital, the soldiers went on to bully owners of motorbikes that had been parked at the hospital premises. “Some of them continued with their threats to the Sisters and the Hospital. They promised that the next time they would be back; they will set the entire hospital on fire,” said Dr. Anshoma.
Sunday’s “invasion” of the hospital by the soldiers is the second of its kind by soldiers in under a year.