The heavy gunfire in Muea, Buea, this morning left a gory scene that has stunned residents of the locality.
Two human beings burned beyond recognition in a taxi, plus another who has been shot and dumped in a roadside gutter, are casualties of a separatist-military confrontation that lasted nearly an hour this morning September 7th, 2023.
Some Muea residents who stopped at the incident scene could recognise one of the victims as having been a taxi driver. The driver of taxi number SW 133 BK is said to have been transporting a trader to Mile 17 that morning when armed separatists confronted them and shot him for operating during lockdown.
He was shot and dumped in a gutter near the burned wreckage of his car. Reports say the trader he was transporting, a Muslim man, was injured and taken to the hospital.
On the opposite side of the road, in a Toyota Yaris vehicle, lay what is thought to have been the vehicle’s driver.
Bones were all that remained of him as the last particles of smoke rose from the burned taxi. In the vehicle’s back seat were the remains of a man whose battered face was hard to identify. Most of his body was burned, witnesses told MMI.
Muea residents who witnessed the shooting that morning claimed that Ambazonia separatist fighters orchestrated the burning.
At the entrance to Central Market Street in Muea, bullet cases littered the ground, both large and small. Smoke rose from a table that had been used to barricade the street.
A resident said separatist fighters mounted a barricade at the street’s entrance, from where they shot at the Cameroonian military.
Call for collaboration
A few minutes after the gunfire subsided, army and gendarmerie officers stormed neighbourhoods in Muea, pulling people from their homes to the roadside.
Men, women, and children were forced to sit on the ground where the two vehicles were burned. Several minutes later, a senior BIR officer addressed the population. He appealed to them to collaborate with the military to push back armed separatists.
He also attributed the three killings to separatists and said the military’s goal was not to protect the population, but to fetch out persons who are opposing peace in the Anglophone Regions.
It should be recalled that residents in the Anglophone regions have routinely opted for neutrality in the conflict, as they say, they do not feel protected by any faction if they support or collaborate with anyone.
Amid lockdown imposed by Separatist
Today’s happenings in Muea came amid a lockdown imposed on Cameroon’s two English-speaking Regions by separatists as part of their campaign against school resumption.
Schools effectively resumed in eight of the country’s ten regions on September 4, but most parts of the two Anglophone Regions are in lockdown.
In Buea, the regional headquarters of the restive South West Region, evidence of lockdown is only visible on the city’s outskirts, in neighbourhoods like Muea, Mile 16, Bwitingi among others.
This is Solivan, a Tole resident who was killed this morning in Muea. Solivan worked as a taxi driver in Buea, and he was on duty when he was shot dead this Thursday. Two other civilians were killed when separatists came out to enforce lockdown. There was a heavy gun exchange between them and the military
This morning, heavy gunfire engulfed Muea, a restive neighbourhood that has been prone to separatist attacks for years.
Residents wondered when peace would reign and their children go back to school without any fear of attacks. Schools and businesses have been paralysed in the locality for days now since the separatist lockdown started.