By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi
Commuters who left Yaounde, Douala and Bamenda, heading to Kumba, on Thursday, November 29, were left stranded at the Mile 17 Motor Park, following the complete lock down of the Kumba-Buea Highway.
It was a similar situation in Muyuka and Kumba, where travellers who were either heading to Buea, Douala or Yaoundé, were grounded at the Motor Park for over 72 hours as soldiers battled separatists to restore traffic.
According to information The SUN gathered, the Kumba-Buea Road was blocked by separatist fighters, as they try to assert their authority in the area.
Some of the commuters, who have no relatives in Buea, arriving the metropolis were forced to spend the night at the Motor Park, while those who have friends, relatives and tribespersons residing in the South West Regional capital had to squat with them until traffic on the Buea-Kumba Highway was timidly restored on Sunday, December 2, 2018 under heavy military escort.
Speaking to The SUN, a driver, who refused to be named, recounted the ordeal they faced along the stretch.
“We left Buea on Friday morning in a bus. Despite the warnings we received that we shouldn’t proceed to Kumba because the road was heavily barricaded, we couldn’t stop because most of the people in the bus had very important appointments in Kumba to honour. Other vehincles with us were transporting corpses and mourners destined for Muyuka and Kumba. There had been shootings between Amba boys and security forces. We learnt that an Amba big man had been killed in Ekona early Thursday morning, reason why the boys were out to retaliate. We had to end in Muyuka due to the tedious nature of the journey,” he said.
He added that a truck belonging to a local beverage company in Muyuka was set alight in Ekona, along with two transport vehicles. It is said that some civilians might have been burnt in the said cars.
We learnt that a truck transporting cocoa was also burnt to ashes in Muyuka by armed men believed to be separatist fighters.
When traffic was finally restored on Sunday under the guidance of soldiers and armored cars, transport fare had soared. Commuters from Buea to Kumba and vice versa were charged as much as FCFA 5,000, up from FCFA 1,500. Those from Kumba to Muyuka were charged FCFA 3,000 while leaving Muyuka to Buea and vice versa cost FCFA 2,000.v