Travelers along the Buea-Kumba highway were recently stranded, following clashes between the military and gunmen suspected to be “Amba forces.”
Eyewitnesses said the road from Mbalangi to Banga Bakundu under Mbonge Subdivision in Meme Division was blocked for several hours, with indiscriminate shooting at close range from both sides.
Travellers who lived the horror told this reporter that from Banga Bakundu any vigilant person could sense that there was danger ahead.
One of them said “as we drove through Banga we passed a few gendarmes, the road was dry with few tense looking villagers spotted along the streets. When we got to the Weigh Station around Mbalangi, the military on duty told us to stop. A gendarme on duty said his colleagues were clearing the road,” our source stated.
The same passenger told The Rambler that hundreds of people claimed to have waited for close to an hour. The traveller said sounds of gunshots were heard from the Mbalangi direction.
Ediki -Mbalangi shootout
The Rambler gathered that sustained military intervention within the forest around Ediki and Mbalangi slowed traffic.
It is reported that within minutes, the security forces reopened the road. Traffic was restored and vehicles drove into and out of Kumba unperturbed.
The sight of these vehicles from the Buea direction encouraged others stranded at Barombi Kang to hit the road for Buea.
Mbalangi village razed!
It was later established that rampaging soldiers went haywire, setting most of the houses in Mbalangi village ablaze. The same burning ceremony was extended to countless motorcycles, the main mode of transportation in the area.
Inhabitants of the affected villages, having been rendered homeless have fled into the forest where they are taking refuge.
Few others with relatives in the nearby town of Kumba could be spotted boarding vehicles around Ediki heading tofor the chief town of Meme Division.
Meantime reports say the corpse of a corporal who was killed earlier by unknown gunmen along the same road has been recovered by members of the Kumba Fire Fighting brigade.
By NGENDE ESTHER