Madame Atabong, a mother of five, is one of those who died on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023, when Separatists attacked a military convoy in Alou, Lebialem Division, of Cameroon’s restive South West Region.
A faction of the Separatist armed group in Lebialem Division claimed responsibility for blowing off a military truck with an improvised explosive device (IED) in a shocking video that MMI published.
Alou is one of the hardest-hit areas in the Anglophone Crisis, which started in 2016. It is also one of three administrative Subdivisions, including Fontem and Wabane.
Madam Atabong was one of the civilians onboard the military truck when it exploded.
According to reliable sources, Madam Atabong died on the spot. Many others were injured.
“Other occupants suffered life-threatening injuries. We do not know the number of soldiers who died in the attack,” a source told MMI.
The mother of five headed to Dschang in the West Region to enroll her kids in school due to the non-functioning learning institution, Lebialem.
” The bomb in Lebialem killed a civilian that was in the military vehicle,” a source told MMI, adding, “The administration was transporting people to go and enroll their children in school in the francophone zone because there is no school operating in Lebialem.”
“This led to the killing of this mother of four boys and one girl,” the source continued.
The administration resorted to using military vehicles to transport civilians after armed separatists imposed a lockdown prohibiting public transport vehicles from plying the road.
“Madam Atabong was going to Dschang to look for admission for his children, and since the Amba boys imposed a ghost town stopping vehicles and bikes from Dschang to the Lebialem, the administration refused to respect the ghost town using their vehicles to transport civilians before this happened.”
Many have criticised the administration for endangering the lives of civilians by transporting them in military vehicles that are vulnerable to attacks.
The military should cease transporting civilians in their vehicles when places are not safe. A civilian cried out, ‘They are doing so and killing innocent civilians!’
At the time of this report, they had reportedly deposited Madam Atabong at a mortuary in Dschang, West Region of Cameroon, pending burial arrangements.