Tens of thousands of people have deserted Cameroon’s conflict prone English-speaking regions after a bloody weekend. Fighting between the military and separatists left at least 40 people dead, and a prominent Catholic bishop was abducted. The renewed fighting comes after a military tribunal ordered separatist leaders imprisoned for life. The new violence has dashed hopes that schools would re-open this week, after being closed for three years.
Six hundred people wait at Amour Mezam, a bus terminal in Cameroon’s northwestern town of Bamenda, seeking rides to French-speaking towns. Like other bus companies in this area, the agency here has been overwhelmed with thousands of travelers leaving the English-speaking area over the past week.
Eunice Tanlaka, a 32-year-old, says bus station officials have promised she and her two children will be able to get on the next bus for Yaounde, the capital.
“I have been tired the whole day, the children have been tired, the fatigue is just too much,” said Tanlaka. “Talk less of the transport fare that has been increased. It has not been easy on us, seriously.”
Tanlaka said she is leaving Bamenda because separatist groups ordered businesses closed for at least two weeks, and attacked people who defied their instructions.
23-year-old Elizabeth Mbunwe says she left the English-speaking town of Ndop when a military attack against separatist fighters killed six civilians, including a baby.
“How can you be fighting for someone and then you kill them? The military says they are for the people but then again turn to kill them,” said Mbunwe. “So, it is a whole confusing situation and we do not know who to walk to for help.”
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Publish date : 2019-08-27 07:52:35