Today marks the second anniversary of a strike, which had far reaching outcomes in Cameroon, that anyone had ever imagined. A series of protests gathered steam in several towns and villages in the North West and South West regions, with a few deaths recorded alongside damaged property.
The mood that would eventually characterise all of Anglophone Cameroon after that fateful Friday will be one of uncertainty and fear, and rightly so. While the the Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary took to Media outlets to downplay the situation, a crackdown ensued in the Anglophone regions, with persons suspected to have taken part in the protests as key targets.
Just days before the much dreaded October 1, the worst was yet to come. The crackdown which got more intense as the days went by eventually met a resistance as some citizens took to the bushes and began carrying out hit and run attacks on government establishments and property, asking for their independence.
Several months down the line, the scenario is nothing short of a full-blow war, with hundreds murdered, kidnapped, tortured and maimed on both sides. Propaganda from government officials, have not made matters any easy, as even those living in the regions seemed to have lost touch with reality.
Unlike last year when September 22nd was received with much more fear and a mass exodus from the regions due to fear of the unknown prior to October 1, this year’s September 22 comes amidst ‘relative calm’ compared to past months.
This, in the wait for a Grand National Dialogue. Though all stakeholders are yet to settle for level ground regarding the Dialogue, many keep asking why it had to get to this level. Why after the killing of thousands, arrest of hundreds, disappearance of many, burning of hundreds of villages and displacement of close to a million English speaking citizens.
With best time to solve the problem being two years back, many can only wish a lasting solution is provided, instead of spending more time counting losses.
Mimi Mefo Info