KUMBO – A TOWN UNDER THE SHADOW OF DEATH
It is no news that Kumbo town situated in the North West Region of Cameroon and its environs has been bleeding profusely ever since the present socio-political crisis started in the two English speaking parts of Cameroon. The crisis has metamorphosized and has escalated into a full-fledged war over the past two years given the heavy-handedness of the military loyal to the Biya regime, their assault, and brutality on civilians, arbitrary arrests and summary executions on a daily basis. The killings and dehumanizing activities of the CameroUn military over innocent civilians which some praise-singers and acolytes of the vampire Biya regime qualify as acting with “professionalism” have greatly radicalized many young boys and girls not only in and around Kumbo area but almost in the entire Former British Southern Cameroons.
Kumbo town has been paralyzed for almost three months now without any movements of persons, circulation of private and commercial vehicles as roads are constantly blocked by pro-independence fighters. As a consequence, besides the fact that the prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed, these basic needs are not even available due to a complete shutdown and no circulation of persons, vehicles or goods.
Pain, despair, frustration, and misery have been the lot of the populace. Access to the hospitals by patients has been a herculean task and a near impossibility. Also, the stagnation of virtually every sector or domain of life is caused by the presence of the military in every part of the town highly noted for their assaults on the civilian population, looting and burning down of homes, businesses and the life’s hard-earned properties of the inhabitants. There is also targeted killings from the military of helpless, armless and harmless civilians from their homes. Glaring examples abound in the communities of Meluf and Bamkika-ai among others. Moreover, other deaths are also recorded from the deadly clashes from the two warring parties. In addition, frequent gunshots, the confrontation between the military and Pro-independence fighters with incessant deafening sounds from the heavy artillery of the military has caused untold psychological trauma on many civilians most especially the aged, babies and pregnant women, some of whom have succumbed to forced labour and premature deliveries according to some findings undertaken.
Furthermore, due to the heavy shootings last week, some elderly woman is also reported to have collapsed as a result from the trauma. She is still even now as I write in a very critical situation at the establishment where she was stealthily rushed to in the middle night by some brave and courageous persons of goodwill amidst the unceasing spraying of bullets and uncertainties through shortcuts to the said establishment for medical attention.
Deaths have also been registered in some family circles of loved ones who took ill and couldn’t be ferried to the nearest health care facilities for adequate medical attention due to the prevailing and precarious circumstances of the war. It has also been gathered from the hospital and health clinics around Kumbo town that a good number of those who managed to sneak out of their homes, bushes or hideouts into the hospitals with untold difficult have been diagnosed of hypertension probably from the fright, tension, fears, stress and psychological trauma probably from the heavy sounds of the instruments of war and mass destruction from the hands of the CameroUn military. In short, life in Kumbo is a living hell, an uninterrupted agony, a perpetual regret why one was ever born at all due to the meaninglessness of life, the hardships, the daily and nocturnal endless killings, the untold pain and tears from the murders of loved ones, homelessness from the torching down of homes or those deserted either for safer locations in less affected areas or in bushes.
Let no one outside of Kumbo live under the illusion that it is a simple struggle. It is no longer a strike, not a question of mere ghost towns. We who live in this town know beyond any reasonable doubt that it is a full-fledged civil war or earthly cleansing.
The casualties recorded each passing day in terms of human losses are enormous. Lack of respect for the sacredness and inviolable dignity of human life has characterized our daily existence. Human life is wasted away in a great and unimaginable degree every, now and then, from the confrontation of the pro-independence fighters and the military, from the attacks of the settlements of civilians during the day or by night by the CameroUn military who are supposed to protect these very civilians.
Equally, some have been terminated by the Restoration Forces who slain the so-called “blacklegs” who offer intelligence to their enemies (the CameroUn military and LRP Government agents)to cause them more pain by razing down their homes, businesses and property, through summary execution of their loved ones which according to them, they, the RF’s in self-defence are out to defend and protect from the clutches of the said enemy as they champion the course of the Restoration of the Statehood of Ambazonia or their right to independence and sovereignty from the colonial regime of Yaounde through engaging in battles against the occupational forces loyal to the occupant of Etoudi.
Kumbo is in pain day and night! The genocidal soldiers of LRP kill us for their spot. Kumbo is in an incessant shedding of tears because of the atrocities witnessed in her. Rivers of blood have flown and are flowing! No one knows when this calamity that has befallen the town of Kumbo and other parts of Ambazonia will end. The dusty town of Kumbo has been soaked in blood and its streets saturated with the blood of its sons and daughters as many keep on paying the ultimate price.
The Beautiful Meluf is in shock, Meluf is wailing ceaselessly ever since the Black Wednesday 5/12/2018 brutal assassinations and genocidal attacks, targeted shootings and slaughter of helpless, armless, and harmless civilians by the CameroUn military. Pain and biting frustration has been the portion of Bamkika-ai, (St Augustine Junction), as the great Bamkika-ai, mighty Bamkika-ai, a promising, fast-growing New Town-Bamkika-ai has been reduced to ashes and ruins since 2017 and suffered her worst destructions and killings these last weeks. Kikaikom (K3), Kumbo Main Mbveh, Small Market – Kumbo Squares, just to name a few, are in similar pain and lamentation. Kumbo counts its human and material losses every passing second and buries her dead daily without dignity and in mass graves like in Meluf. Kumbo is sliding down the rubbish gutter every passing moment! Life in Kumbo has become an endless agony, a cry of despair and great anguish, a perpetual prolongation of the sorrowful mysteries of Calvary, a journey from nowhere to nothingness as people are perpetually on the run from one locality to another. Could it be that either they run away with trouble or the trouble keeps on following them from one place to another place? In Kumbo, all now is fear, uneasiness, homelessness, misery, unqualified pain, uncertainty, tension.
People are surprised when the heart-breaking sounds from the machine guns are not re-echoing from the four corners of the town, not because they have grown accustomed to it or fallen in love with this ungodly sound which they now refer to as “Go home,” as soon as it begins but because it has become their undesired lot.
At daybreak in Kumbo, one is surprised to have seen the light of the sun again, during the day is perplexed about how it would end, at nightfall no one, man or woman, boy or girl, young or old is sure to catch the glimpse of yet another day. In Kumbo those who manage to sleep in bits and pieces as it is punctuated by sporadic deadly gun shoots, now snore in tenor. In Kumbo, every blessed moment is an occasion to quit this world as the certainty of death outweighs any faint possibility of ever living again.
How I wish I could be able to paint the picture in the same way as to represent the magnitude of the actual reality we are facing right now and have been experiencing for close to three months. Kumbo, let us not lose hope. The last thing to die in a man is hope! Dry up your tears! Better days ahead!
What is the way forward! Nothing new as such.
1. We call on the International bodies to wake up from slumber. Enough of talking. We need action. Rwanda is taking place and repeating itself night and day in Kumbo in particular and in Ambazonia as a whole.
2. It is not by concessions, it is not by compromise that this crisis will be resolved.
3. Never will there ever be peace without justice!
4. No cosmetic solutions will ever play the magic! No window dressing solutions (Bilingualism and Disarmament Commissions) will ever change the present stalemate.
5. The military solution is not and will never be the panacea. Demilitarize Kumbo Town and other parts of the Former British Southern Cameroons.
6. Stop the genocidal military from further wiping our people out from the face of the earth. Kumbo will soon be just a mere name if something is not done and done speedily.
7. Release the Ambazonian Leaders kidnapped from Nera hotel in Nigeria almost a year ago on the 5th of January 2018 and those illegally carted away from the English speaking areas into your dungeons and torture chambers as a tiny gesture of good will and an eloquent proof that we can still trust you a little since there is a breach of trust between the governing and the governed.
8. Let us be honest at least for once and get to the drawing board without any further delay, let us sit around the table for a genuine round table conference. Better now than tomorrow because after the killings we shall still have to sit down around a dialogue table! Stop the killings in Kumbo! Stop the killings in Ambazonia! Enough of these killings.
(WIYSENYUYVER – Kumbo).