BY TALLA AGHAA CHRISTOPHER
Many villages and homes across the South West Region in Cameroon in the past days have been set ablaze following clashes between separatist fighters and government forces.
Reports say gun battles between defence forces and Ambazonia fighters have been the order of the day in villages and homes in Muyuka, Kumba and Mamfe Sub Divisions and hundreds of troops have been stationed in these localities in a bid to create a serene atmosphere, following the recent attacks from the Ambazonia fighters.
The population of these villages that have been at the centre of violence throughout the week have vanished into thin air as the totally deserted areas are occupied solely by the military. Security forces are said to have shot on sight at any person who was found at the villages. Hundreds of houses were razed, allegedly by the military.
According to one of the villagers, houses of those who were suspected to be activists and family members of known activists abroad were particularly targeted.
He cited the case of the family residence of 68-year-old Sona Magdaline Fende, at Mbonge road, Kumba I Sub Division, Meme Division of the South West Region that was razed to the ground during the violent confrontation.
According to reliable sources, while Sona Magdaline Fende, who is currently abroad on the invitation of her daughter, her son, who had been missing for several months resurfaced and was living in the residence alone. With frequent attacks on the military by Ambazonia fighters around Mbonge Road in Kumba, several houses were blacklisted as hideouts of Ambazonia Defence Forces including the residence of Sona Magdaline Fende.
During last week’s confrontation between separatist fighters and government forces, the residence of Sona Magdaline Fende, amongst others homes in the area, were razed, allegedly by the military. Several other villagers escaped to neighbouring towns and localities and some to the bushes for fear of the unknown.
Denizens of the affected villages and towns where homes have been razed by the military have launched a clarion call for good Samaritans who are hosting these homeless families to take courage for it will take years for affected families to have a home of theirs.
The situation of Sona Magdaline Fende is even more complicated taking into consideration that she is ageing and a mother of five and many grand children whose residence was their only comfort zone and last hope. Sona Magdaline Fende and her large family shall remain homeless for many years to come.
It should be recalled that the Anglophone regions of the country have been restive for almost a year now after lawyers and teachers of the North West and South West regions took to the streets in protest of what they termed the assimilation of the Anglo-Saxon culture by their French counterparts.