Six families in Muambong, a village in Kupe Muanenguba division, South West region have spent a second night without their sons/husbands for no fault of theirs.
It follows a military raid that saw them murdered in cold blood on Wednesday morning.
Locals had gone to bed on Tuesday night like everyone else but were woken up the following morning by gunshots and military brutality that left six non-combatants dead.
Like many other young men in the village that were almost killed that morning, one of the victims we prefer to call Terence recounts the traumatising experience they had on that fateful morning.
Awoken by voices and later gunshots, Terrence tried to run for safety but was asked by his mother to follow the soldiers as they ordered. “They took me to a neighbour’s house where they had gathered other people. From the information I heard after, it is like the gunshots were from where they shot Mesumbe. That’s where Nappy and the rest were. Nappy was trying to fight with the soldier who came with a gun and opened the door so while trying to fight, he started running and they were shooting at him” he says.
Terrence says they were all moved to a military truck that had been waiting at the roadside which later transported them to the toll gate area.
“That’s when one soldier entered the vehicle and started beating Kila (again), hitting his head with his shoe saying “so you are amba, you are amba” and asked if he was amba. Only from his appearance, it showed that he was an amba because they got some ‘jazz’ from his room and placed it on his neck” Terrence recounts.
“They took him in front of the car where they tied him not knowing that others were also there like Sumbi and Fine Boy. We were not seeing them. It was only Kila we saw them take to the front of the car”.
“Later on, they took Enongene, Pa Ngeme’s son. It’s like they broke into their house and saw a gun and one military trouser. They wore the trouser on his father saying he is an amba also. He was trying to deny the fact”.
The soldiers he explained took him outside and said they were going to kill him but surprisingly showed him mercy and told him to carry his father home, which he did.
“While we were still in the car, they took Achabe. They started beating him saying he’s also an amba. He was trying to deny the fact but later on accepted saying, but he left since 2017. They hit him and also took him to the other side”.
“Later on, they tied their hands, eyes and brought a vehicle with guns on it. They went close to them, and started shooting”, an action Terence says lasted for over five minutes.
The men and boys who were still alive, including Terrence were then taken to the market square and were to be taken to the brigade when the person in charge of the soldiers objected.
“… he started telling us that we are fortunate they did not burn down the village because they know there’s a mixed population and that they have come to pass a warning, that the people should be very careful because next time when they come, they’ll burn down everything.”
“When we went home they just left and went and later on, we started hearing people crying… I came back to the roadside, and we met six people lying dead on the ground” he says sadly.
Reacting to the incident on Wednesday, the government claimed the operation was aimed at fishing out civilians that had been carrying out attacks on soldiers, promising subsequent raids.
The incident is one of several instances where soldiers have carried out extra judicial killings in the Anglophone regions of the Country.
Mimi Mefo Info