Incineration has become a regular trademark in villages where assailants have stalked and killed soldiers in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, causing many to begin wondering if such acts of vandalism expected from unknown assailants ought to be associated with regular soldiers as it currently obtains. Moreover, this firebombing feature that used to be connected with public and private edifices has now been extended to whole villages, inflicting pains in their wake on innocent citizens.
In the event, while gunshots rent the air as separatists and the military engage in combat, air pollution has, also, become a tenant as the homes of most citizens are razed by the military in retaliation against perceived injury and/or deaths inflicted on fellow men of arms.
Whether as a strategy by the Government to render denizens of the Southwest Region especially in Kumba and Mamfe homeless or not is still a moot point in discussions. However, it has been noted that in every area where there is combat between separatists and the military, houses around such areas would be set ablaze mindless of the fact that there may be people in such homes.
A recent scene of such barbaric act by military goons is that of the innocent 96 year old woman who died in one of the buildings said to have been set on fire by the military. While strong and agile youths for the fear of the unknown scampered for safety in the bushes, the late old woman couldn’t and was consequently roasted like chicken by same people who are under normal circumstances supposed to protect her.
Natives of victimized villages have cried foul as their properties have been shattered and their lives in danger. They have bitterly complained of an unprecedented crackdown by the military, which also used helicopters to fire on civilians. Even though Cardinal Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala has spoken out against the recent use of military violence and for the respect of human life, this has fallen on deaf ears as the burning persists and is instead progressing to other villages as was recently the case of Tado in Bui Division of the Northwest Region.
Many have pondered on the motive behind what they term wickedness by the military. According to natives, it is innocent people who are suffering because those the military are combating are not from of the villages which have been razed.
Though the Government is talking of dialogue but not initiating one, many have ascertained that the rampant arson on homes would eventually harden the hearts of denizens and make things worse. They have bitterly complained that the Government is doing nothing to ensure that the problem is solved and precious Cameroonian lives are going by the day.
Violence, many have said, cannot be solved by violence, but that seems to be the case now. Fear has engulfed the hearts of Cameroonians, especially, those in the two English speaking Regions as to what the future holds.
By Relindise Ebune