BOLE BAKUNDU RAID: Many killed, burning escalates, villagers flee

There seem to be no letting up in the merry-go-round of gun fire exchanges and subsequent killings, burnings and looting propagated by resolute separatist militants and regular soldiers who have turned callousness into a favourite pastime on the Kumba/Mbonge road, with the latest episode being the exodus of thousands of inhabitants of Bole Bakundu on Friday, January 2, to nearby villages, bushes and even to Kumba for those who could easily escape for safety. This latest stampede is said to have been caused by regular soldiers in pursuit of alleged Ambazonian separatists.

Friday’s raid was a spillover effect of Thursday, February 1 clash between Government soldiers and separatist fighters. According to eye witness accounts to The Rambler, at about 4pm, roads along Kumba-Mbonge and Kumba-Kotto were reportedly blocked by “Ambazonian Tigers” thereby halting circulation, which prompted military intervention.

The narrative continued that on the night of Thursday, February 1, indiscriminate shooting from gunfire exchanges by both parties left many dead and some wounded on both sides. These actions had already induced panic in the populations of Bole and Nake, thereby causing many to flee that same night for fear of the unknown, with hindsight from memories of Kwakwa on their minds.

More than 20 houses have reportedly been reduced to ground level and at least three persons dead in Bole alone. Motor bikes that were apprehended are said to have been set ablaze. Gunshots were reported in other villages like Ekombe on Thursday night. Generally, farmlands, businesses and other valuables have been abandoned.

When The Rambler talked to a lady who had fled from Bole but elected anonymity for security reasons on what transpired in her village and how she survived, she said “on Friday morning I went to buy fish in to prepare food. On my way back, I just saw people from my quarter running so I too joined them and ran back to the bush. When we arrived at a quiet place I asked them why they were running and they told me that the soldiers had come to our quarter searching homes for only what they alone know. Thank God I always walked with identity card even when am going to the farm because I know times are bad now and one can be embarrassed anywhere. That was how I followed my neighbours and landed in Kumba. Here in Kumba I only received calls from the village of persons whom I know whose houses have been destroyed and even some who have been caught by stray bullets,” she recounted.

Some other two corpses of civilians were discovered around the Kake Bridge still on Thursday night. The corpses were later taken for burial by workers of the Kumba City Council.

By NGENDE ESTHER

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