By Ikome Christie-noella Eposi in Buea
Family members of some Cameroonians who have been identified as those who led protests rallies across the globe on October 1 demanding for the Independence of Southern Cameroon have not been facing it easily back home from the hands of the military.
The case is worst for one of the Diaspora protesters whose name we obtained as Agendia Calistus Benzankeng whose brother before his desmise was living at Muyenge in the Muyuka sub-Division was shot dead by the military.
Atem Lawrence Benzankeng, the brother of Agendia Calistus who resides in Belgium is said to have been killed and buried without the knowledge of his relatives.
Agendia who has spent most of his life in Belgium has not been in the good books of the state.
Their house in the village alongside others, were razed by fire and inhabitants of the village are reported to have taken refuge in the bushes while others have become internally displaced persons.
With the current fighting between separatists groups and the Military, youths, especially young men have become targets as many move to join the separatists fighters who are battling tooth and nail for the restoration of the Southern Cameroon Statehood.
Farmlands which were cultivated for sustenance have all been destroyed living the masses in perpetual hunger.
The state has launched a massive crackdown for any, once identified as being part of any demonstration home and abroad in relation to the Anglophone Crisis.
In January 2017, the Government banned the Southern Cameroon National Conference, the SCNC and the All Anglophone Civil Society Consortium.
Its leaders were all arrested and later released after spending eight months in the Yaounde Kondengui Maximum Security Prison.
It should be noted that the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Region of Cameroon has led to the arrest and illegal detention of a good number of youth protesters while a good number of them have either gone in to hiding or have fled the country to unknown destinations.
Serious checks and searches are also mounted at the airports and seaports to track down suspected protesters who try to enter the country.
The fear is that those of them who have been abroad for long are financing the struggle back home and their return may either be to continue financing it or taking up arms and join the separatist’s fighters.
It should be noted that persons who are involved or arrested in such circumstances are termed terrorists and are punished according to the 2014 Anti Terrorism Law which carries a sentence of 25 years to life imprisonment and at worst, a death penalty.
For the fear of the long arm of this law which has been termed by Human Rights group as being unfair, most Cameroonians abroad have decided to stay in hiding than to come back home and face the dreaded law where civilians are tried in the military courts.