By Cindy Akwo
The Anglophone crisis that started with the Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone teachers’ strike on the marginalisation of the Anglophones better still Southern Cameroons in 2016 has gradually been transformed into an armed conflict.
As armed conflict rages on now for close to three years in the restive North West and South West regions, several calls have been made for all the protagonists to embrace peace for a better and new Cameroon, but things seem to have fallen on deaf ears as fighting between the separatist fighters and the defence forces continues with multiple deaths recorded on both sides and houses razed to the ground, villages burnt down and Internally Displaced Persons, IDP’s keep increasing.
The government and the military, over the years,are sparing no efforts in tracking down those they consider as the agents of the destruction of Cameroon with charges levelled against them such as propagation of false information, rebellion, revolution, secession, insurrection and non-possession of National Identity card. Even those abroad considered as activists and preaching against the marginalisation of Southern Cameroons by the Yaounde regime have equally been declared enemies of the State of Cameroon and have been tagged for persecution.
The case of 33-year-old Adiet Evette Anyibezah is pathetic. Reports hold that she had to escape to an unknown destination in early August 2019 due to the crisis rocking the North West and South West Regions (Southern Cameroons) which has beenchristened “Federal Republic of Ambazonia”.
Family sources hinted THE SUN that Adiet Evette Anyibezah alongside her husband, Bejuah Innocent, a popular photographer and correspondent to several media outlets and especially Lebialem Community Radio in Lebialem Division of the South West region, were invited by some chiefs to cover what separatists celebrate as the Independence Day of Southern Cameroons on October 1st, 2018.Unfortunately the military got hints of the event and invaded the area. The scenario transformed into a military and separatist fighters fracas, leaving many dead and others arrested. The information went viral on October 3rd, 2018 and was thus a slap on the face of government. Adiet and husband were declared suspects.This caused the military to burn down their photo studio.
Reports hold that an Anglophone military officer hinted them about plans by the military to eliminate them and thus advised Adiet and her husband to leave for their safety. This is how Adiet Evette’s husband escaped to the bush.Because she was still a nursing mother, she couldn’t follow her husband.
THE SUN was reliably informed that the military stormed their resident and while searching for Adiet Evette’s husband, accused them of collaborating with separatist fighters and being the brains behind the propagation of the information circulating on social media about the excesses of the military of October 1st, 2018.
In the course ransacking the house in search of Adiet Evette’s husband, the military gunned down one Bejuah Derrick who came visiting and wanted to escape through the window. On the sidelines of this, Adiet Evette is said to have been molested by the military while under pressure to disclose the whereabouts of her husband. They were thrown out of the house by the military and their house was razed to the ground.As if this is was not enough, the military accompanied Adiet Evette to the bush to unveil where her husband is, but fortunately the military asked her to escape for if she is seen in the country the military will kill him.
According to family sources, Adiet Evette was rescued in the bush by some Good Samaritans and she spent several months in the bush without setting eyes on her husband, Bejuah Innocent.
Fortunately, Adiet’s mother-in-law, Agendia Christiana, got information about their situation and visited them and narrated the ordeal about her husband whose whereabouts till date is still unknown.
This is how Adiet Evette’s mother-in-law contacted a friend, Ebe Primus Mbe Efuetnjoh, popularly known as Atem Joseph, a family inherited name, to find out if her husband, Bejuah Innocent, was with him but nothing filtered about his whereabouts. Then, Adiet Evette, through the assistance of Ebe Primus aka Atem Joseph, facilitated her departure from Cameroon on August 5th, 2019.
Family sources hinted THE SUN that the military is making impromptu visits to the neighbourhood of Adiet Evette while news circulating indicates that Adiet Evette’s husband, Bejuah Innocent, must have died since no trace of his is known.
As we went to press, we gathered that Adiet Evette is under security searchlight and has been declared wanted. However, Adiet Evette’s husband’s whereabouts remains unknown while conflicting reports hold that he is either death or missing.
As the crisis rages on, report of a survey released by a group of human rights organisations in Cameroon indicates that the lives of Anglophone activists are now in danger.
Recent statistics by civil society organisations reflect the extent of the damage with horrific numbers. The death toll is on a rise while there are claims that about 200 villages have been burnt down in the two regions, and some 430,000 people remain internally displaced with thousands of English-speaking Cameroonians having fled to neighbouring Nigeria where they are living as refugees.