Soaring tensions appear to be calming down in M’mouck, a village in Wabane, Lebialem division of Cameroon’s South West region. The area whose commercial and other activities have been perturbed by running gun battles has witnessed its first football game in five years.
“The last time such a gathering took place here was in 2015, and when the Anglophone crisis escalated in 2016, no social activity has been possible,” says a source in M’mouck, who turned out at the tournament.
The armed conflict which stemmed from a bloody quest for independence of the English-speaking regions of Cameroon has claimed thousands of lives and split several communities in the Northwest and Southwest regions.
Wabane Mayor, Nembo Ketu Israel, who organised the tournament described it as a “unifying factor” in the presence of hundreds of young participants and spectators.
“Over 500 persons took part as we had nine teams with 22 players each all present during the launching,” a member of the organising committee told Mimi Mefo Info, adding that soldiers were present to guarantee safety.
Nembo went on to highlight the importance of the sports competition, stressing on the need for peace among locals in the community.
Despite the recent strides, our source admits that the area is yet to witness a complete return to normal. “Everything is moving on well, just that we don’t keep late hours at night. Places are closed before 9 PM”.
Lebialem division remains one of the most affected by the over three-year-long war in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
A week ago there was tension in M’mouck, after separatist fighters abducted dozens of persons including young girls. They were only set free after days negotiations with payment of ransom fees. A military operation in the area also left many scared for their lives.
Mimi Mefo Info