By David Atangana
Recent happenings in Big Babanki (Kedjom Keku), Tubah subdivision, and Mezam division of Camerooon’s restive North West region have raised a lot of questions about the security of the local population.
The locality is the latest victim of atrocities perpetrated by armed Ambazonia separatist fighters and the Cameroon military.
Big Babanki village came under military invasion Friday, May 26, 2023, a few days after separatists shot and brutalized old women protesting their excesses.
Local inhabitants say they are not safe in the hands of Separatist fighters and when the soldiers came in, they found that it was just another side of the same coin. According to the locals, both sides keep committing atrocities against them.
It should be recalled that on May 19, 2023, separatist fighters opened fire on women who took to the street against a compulsory level imposed by the fighters. Thirty of the old women were brutalized and taken captive.
Meanwhile, government forces in a supposed rescue mission turned against the population who are now worried about security.
A few days ago, a local denouncing ‘Amba’ excesses told MMI, “This nonsense has got to stop. We are almost pleading for a military base.”
Responding to MMI, a victim of military atrocities said, “How can I feel safe with thieves when I watched them break my shop carrying everything away.”
“They also carried garri and other valuable foodstuffs our mothers wanted to go and sell in a neighboring village- Bambui, so that they can manage to get something to care for themselves. Is that the peace the government or the SDO was talking about in his press release?” he questioned.
Considering the recent military action, the population says they are not sure in whose hands they are safe anymore.
“Where I am now, I can boldly say that we are neither safe at the hands of the military or the separatists,” one man said.
They said they were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea because, on one hand, the sepThe only evil the separatists are their own children, and on the other hand, the military is supposed to protect the population.
“Amba boys did evil by beating and abducting our mothers who were protesting against the levy we were asked to pay, how can children do that to their own parents, and claim they are fighting for us?” he queried, adding:
“The military on the other hand has bankrupted some of us in one single operation. I relocated from Douala with my family to settle in my village and now I am left with nothing. All have been taken away by the people we expect them to protect us,” he lamented.
This is not the first time that both the Cameroon military and separatists have been blamed for targetting the local population. Many reports from human rights organisations have documented excesses by both the Cameroon military and the separatists.