By Ringnwi Joy
Villagers of Nyang, Ntong 1, and Fam in Nwa Subdivision, Donga Mantung Division of the North West Region of Cameroon are said to be taking refuge in a place called Saa Kaka after fleeing their homes when a group of suspected Fulanis stormed their villages, killing five and razing houses and markets.
Sources in Nwa said the incident began Monday, February 22, and stretched into Tuesday, February 23, 2021. The invaders, according to sources, began attacking locals in their houses in a village called Nyang before moving to other nearby villages.
“Yesterday they started burning houses from Nyang to Ntong market square and later went to Ntong 2 before turning back to Nyang. Right now they are still there,” a local said, adding, “they want to inherit peoples land by using force”.
“They have killed already five people. Apart from the two fathers that were killed on their sickbed, my elder sister’s two houses around the market square have also been burnt completely with everything inside and she is a widow,” another native of Nwa added.
Amongst those killed were two aged fathers identified as Pa Nwingong and Pa Yenjoh while on their sickbed at home.
The reason for the rampage is yet unclear but clashes between the Fulanis and the host communities in the subdivision have been recurrent especially since the start of the Anglophone crisis in 2016.
Municipal, administrative authorities ‘helpless’
Talking to a reporter, the Mayor of Nwa, Meyong Lawrence confirmed the death toll but said he is “confused” with the happening.
The Divisional Officer for Nwa Subdivision, Awuro Joseph said he is yet to get the facts.
“I’m still trying to verify. You know the communication is very difficult here,” the DO stated but refused to comment further.
Meanwhile, a source within the administration of the area who prefers not to be identified, said: “they had called to inform the military base in the divisional headquarter, Nkambe and also the SDO to inform him of the situation”.
The source added that “the commissioner said they would have asked the BIR in Nwa to go there but due to the crisis they are afraid as they always go there when they are prepared with their machines to detect if there are bombs on the way or not”.
At press time Tuesday evening, security and defense forces were yet to be deployed to the villages concerned.
Case of land grabbing
The locals have accused the Fulanis of wanting to send them out of their land.
“The Mbororos have gone to Nigeria and taken ‘grigri’ and have come back to fight and take the land in Nyang and others… So that they can use it for their cows to live there,” a villager whose name we got as Paul said.
“They said they have come back from Nigeria to take their land for which they had been punished and killed. They say they are coming to seize back their land,” a denizen added.
Another insisted that: “The Mbororo people want to come and take this land as their land and settle here permanently with their cattle. When they settle with their cattle and there’s destruction in villagers farm caused by the cattle, they don’t pay”.
The attack on the villages comes barely days after another attack allegedly carried out by a Fulani left an 87-year-old woman dead and her daughter severely injured last Saturday night.