Gunshots Send Villagers Into Hiding As Soldiers Intensify Crackdown On Separatists
Renewed gunfire across villages in Muyuka Sub Division, South West Region of Cameroon has triggered escape of villagers into the forest as security forces sustain pressure on armed separatist fighters.
The latest of such gunfire erupted in the early hours of Thursday January 10. Sporadic gunfire across the string of villages in this Sub-division provoked mass escape of children, women, youth and the elderly back into the forest.
A few villagers, who spoke to the cameroon daily, explained that they are escaping to avoid being caught in the crossfire between security forces and gunmen.
A mother of four whose identity we are withholding for security reasons said “since Tuesday, we have not slept. Each time you hear people announcing that the soldiers are coming and that is how people will start escaping.
As I am talking to you now, since yesterday, we have not been to our homes…. We were about going home this morning when news broke that the soldiers were still around in search of Amba Boys.”
Quizzed on what the soldiers are shooting at, another villager trapped in the forest said “normally the soldiers are just shooting into the air probably for fear of being attacked by gunmen. They are not targeting anybody. Today, they were headed for Munyenge and so each time they are passing, the shooting is rampant causing everyone to flee,” the inhabitant stated.
Besides, other localities such as Ikata within the same stretch have known deadly gun battles in the first days of 2019.
These villages are host to thousands of cocoa farmers already bleeding from obnoxious rules of living instituted by gunmen. Gunmen are known to surface on the streets in the absence of soldiers but escape once the security forces show up.