Cameroon’s Anglophone regions deserted, Military vs extremists fight continues
The battle between Cameroon's military and separatists is forcing the local people to escape in some other locations. After Cameroon's President, Paul Biya's New Year message the fighting intensified as he insisted that the military would continue gunning down the separatists who refuse to drop their weapons.
A senior Cameroon military official, who did not wish to be named, warns in a report that visiting the mostly deserted north-western town of Kumbo he will need military protection. He says separatist fighters have been launching heavy attacks in the area and may be among the few people left on the streets, as reported by Voa News.
On a ride through the streets of Kumbo, under military protection, it's clear that most houses, markets and public places are abandoned while some homes and schools have been torched. According to an unnamed resident, many locals are fleeing because they are afraid – not of separatists but of the military. They accuse Cameroon troops of burning their houses and shops in retaliation for failing to inform on separatist fighters hiding in their villages.
"These armed military men just shoot at random and they term (call) people in Kumbo terrorists," he said. According to him, the local people started fleeing after the country's President delivered such speech. Lots of people expected him to declare the release of some separatists in a bid for peace. But he made a vow to neutralize all those who refuse to stop fighting. However, Deben Tchoffo, the governor of English-speaking Anglophone region disproves claims that the military retaliates against civilians.
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