Residents of Guzang, a town in Batibo Sub Division in Cameroon’s North West Region, are still in shock after two men in the community were shot and killed in front of them.
Reports say members of the Ambazonia Defense Force (ADF), carried out the shooting. ADF is the security arm of the Separatist faction under Ayaba Cho Lucas called the Ambazonia Governing Council (AGovC).
The victims shot in broad daylight are called Mbanyamsi Hansel, also known as Heavy Son and the brother of the Fon of Guzang, and Mbah Calistus, popularly called Aboro.
They were taken from their homes to the main road, and asked them to sit down before firing at them.
In a video showing how the killing was carried out, the killers can be heard saying, “Tell Rene, tell the BIR Commander, to come get their bodies and bury them.”
René Claude Meka is a senior Cameroonian officer and Chief of Staff of the Cameroon Armed Forces since September 2001.
Also, Rene Emmanuel Sadi is Cameroon’s Minister of Communication.
It is unclear which of the two fighters they are referring to.
Accused of betrayal amid condemnations
The ADF fighters have said Hansel and Calistus have been working with a Battalion Intervention Rapid (BIR) leader.
In Guzang, there has been outrage and public anger following the killings.
Felix (not his real name), a resident of Guzang, said the fighters have crossed the red line.
“The scene was bad. I could not sleep at night. In my dreams, I kept having flashbacks of the killing. This is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. It was horrible to see people dying in pain. This is not okay,” Felix said to MMI.
Philomen (name changed for security reasons), who was born and raised in Batibo, has described what happened as a war crime.
“They will never be let off the hook for all the war crimes they commit every day. It’s terrible and gross. I don’t understand why it’s always ADF that does these things. They seem to have a goal,” Philomen told MMI.
Not the first time!
Separatist fighters are not doing this for the first time. In fact, on Wednesday, nearly a dozen were released after spending months in captivity.
Many of the freed hostages have recounted shocking stories of how they were shot, tortured, and punished daily.
Since 2016, Separatists have been fighting for an independent state called ‘Ambazonia’
The now bloody quest for independence started as corporate demands by teachers, lawyers, and civil society actors for development and changes in the way things were run in the country’s English-speaking regions.
But some Separatist factions, like the ADF, have made the people pay what they call a “liberation tax.”
A few weeks ago, dozens of people-carrying cars were stopped in Batibo. Men were forced to pay FCFA10000, and women were forced to pay FCFA5000.
Those who fail to pay are either shot or tortured.
People are unhappy about these because they say they are being extorted every day.
According to one school of thought, the war that has been raging in the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon is to blame for all of the terrible things that have happened on both sides of the Anglophone Crisis.
Many people say that until the crisis is over, acts like these and ones that are even worse will keep happening.
Edited by Mimi Mefo T.