2nd January walk: A SUCCESS despite all odds
The zealous and fervent nature of Southern Cameroonians towards this struggle is very much worrisome to La Republique. This is evident in the metaphoric categorization of Southern Cameroonians as “extremists” by President Biya in his 31st December speech. On January 1st, 2017, the members of the consortium made an abrupt press release calling off the January 2nd walk, on the notion that some groups of persons who are suspected to be agents of the government are involved in the struggle. Afraid of a blood bath the consortium said it was not secured to go out on the streets and thus canceled the demonstration. It is worthy of note that major cities in Southern Cameroons had been militarized by the government of La Republique. The reaction from the consortium brought so much commotion and fear among Southern Cameroonians at home, in the diaspora and on social media. Varied perspectives emanated which were arguably directed towards the consortium’s abrupt withdrawal from the peaceful walk as well as the militarization of major cities in Anglophone Cameroon.
Following these events, it was obvious many had loose courage and braveness towards the January 2nd walk. People who initially volunteered to lead had withdrawn based on the notion that they are afraid of casualties assuming the inhuman manner in which the military operates, with glaring evidence from the indiscriminate killings that occurred on the 8th and 9th of November 2016 in Bamenda and Kumba respectively. However, some outstanding Southern Cameroonians remained steadfast and encouraged others towards making January 2nd a success. In this regard, citizen journalist and civil society activist Mark Bareta along with a host of others issued a couple of statements that gave hope and increased the enthusiasm of many people. However, many were still skeptical about the success of January 2nd.
Finally, in the early hours of January 2nd, 2017, South Korea took the lead for the walk. Gradually, Mundemba, Tiko, Buea, Kumba, Bamenda, Muyuka, followed. These young men and women who came out to the walk of freedom reveal how eager Southern Cameroonians yearn for freedom. This action left many who suddenly became cowards tongue hanging and indifferent to their political preferences in the Southern Cameroons and La Republique in general. Fascinating about the walk is that, Southern Cameroonians in Australia, London, Cape Town- South Africa, Houston, Ohio, Italy, UEA,Oklahoma, Las Vegas, Ireland joined the train. Back in Cameroon, no casualties were recorded, but for a number of brave youths who were arrested in Mundemba and later released upon pressure from social media and other stakeholders. These events simultaneously revealed the “walk” was a success despite all controversies and hurdles that surrounded the preparation and organization.
Mark Bara one of the leading voices of the struggle online in his Facebook post gave a short response and said:
” The fact that all major towns in Southern Cameroons were militarized today from all junctions to Market squares is an indication of what the social media can do. We succeeded in giving the military some work. So despair not. I should acknowledge that all that we need hence forth is a major coordination between all stakeholders especially those at the front lines and leaders back home. Coordination was not enough. We must not again make the same mistake twice. I want us to look at the bigger picture. La République feared us. They occupied our streets, junctions and market squares from all towns in West Cameroon. This is a major win. And sent a clear message to Paul Biya that we can dare. Now we must consolidate our efforts to ensure that no school resumes on 9th January as well as supporting the call of the consortium to boycott 11th February and 20th May. I am optimistic we would not reach 20th may because by then our west Cameroon statehood must have been restored ”
BaretaNews, therefore, applaud the efforts and commitments of all those who kept to their words and made it for the walk. You are all heroes and heroines fighting a good fight whose results will be enjoyable by generations unborn in the Southern Cameroons. BaretaNews encourages Southern Cameroonians to remain steadfast, to be courageous, to be willing and capable of daring. It is only by daring (coming over our fears) that we can as a whole emerge victorious in this struggle. We should therefore massively rally behind our Consortium.
The struggle continues