We woke up at about 5,30 am early Monday December 3, 2018 with a fierce battle between the Separatist (local militia) and regular government security forces that lasted about 6 hours leading to deaths on both camps. These six hours were characterized by heavy gun shelling with the use of machine guns.
Thereafter, over 30 homes were looted and burnt to ashes as well as several business premises. These business premises constitute the major economy of the community that has been completely destroyed added to the previous looting and destruction by similar forces. It is remarkable to note that a sick grandfather of about 80 years was carried out of his sick bed and the house set ablaze before him. Another grandfather’s house was spared thanks to a 7-year-old grandson that cried out loud sitting by the grandfather pleading with them not to burn their home. It was really scary to listen to the heavy sounds emanating from the guns, I thought the roof of the house will collapse on my head as several bullets passed over my house.
The entire community was in pandemonium with several running down the valleys across to neighboring villages for safety while those who could not run out of their homes remained prostrate on the floors with hearts beating and waiting for when someone might smash their doors pull them out and burn their homes. Later in the evening and early Tuesday morning, more than 80% of the remaining community members could be seen crossing other villages with household belongings looking for safety in other villages. Families whose homes were completely destroyed by burning fires also had to move to relatives or to friends for accommodation and subsistence. About 90% of the community is now internally displaced.
Yesterday at a neighboring village, 8 people were shot and killed with several houses looted and burned including a Micro-finance institution and a market. Meanwhile, today over 28 houses were looted and burned in two other villages along the same stretch of road. There is a high exodus of people with some going to Nigeria and some to other regions of Cameroon. This is basically from the fear of the unknown as the crisis continues. This same situation is taking place in several parts of Cameroon.
In the face of this crisis situation, there is a need for humanitarian assistance for the internally displaced and those whose homes have been completely incinerated. Using methods helping victims begin working toward restoration and sustainability, GHNI teams will bring help and hope.