Human Right organisations in Cameroon like The Network for the Defence of Human Right and the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa have estimated that thousands of lives have perished since the start of onslaughts between security forces and pro-independence fighters in the conflict-hit North West and South West regions of Cameroon.
The casualties include civilians, pro-independence fighters and elements of the Cameroon defence forces.
In a recent outing, Barrister Agbor Balla, President of the outlawed Consortium of Anglophone Civil Society actors said over five hundred thousand English-speaking Cameroonians have been displaced in Cameroon and in Nigeria. He added that over 126 houses have been burned or destroyed.
The question is how did the situation come this far?
It all began in September 22nd after the Anglophone population; young and old carried peace plants and stormed the streets to condemn marginalisation, the arrest of their leaders and brothers, and called for independence.
Today September 22 marks a year after Southern Cameroonians in the North West and South West came out en masse on September 22, 2017, demonstrating and brandishing peace plants, declaring they want freedom.
The protest was on at home while the head of state President Paul Biya was addressing the 72nd UN General Assembly, in New York. The president who spoke on terrorism around the world and the need for peace at home did not for once mention the long-running crisis which has grounded courts, schools and economic activities in the North West and South West regions since November 2016.
As the minority Anglophone population protested to create a state called Ambazonia, they were crushed by elements of Cameroon Defence Forces who used live bullets on unarmed civilians.
RHEDAC revealed after the September 22nd protest that hundreds of civilians were killed, thousands arrested and dozens missing and called on the government of Cameroon to investigate and serve justice.
The government is still to give an account of what rights defenders described as a massacre.
After the huge protest, reports of armed groups created in Manyu, Lebialem, Ndian…Momo Divisions started emerging. As at now, dozens have been created all over Southern Cameroon and the rate of cross fire has continued to multiply.
We at Mimi Mefo info are of the opinion that dialogue or negotiations with engaged in the presence of a mediator for peace to return.