BY CYNTHIA AKUM
The North West and South West regions of Cameroon have remained restive since 2017, following what is now known as the Anglophone crisis. Latest statistics from National and International Human Rights bodies indicate that over 3000 civilians have been killed with about 730000 displaced, beside many living horrible lives in neighbouring Nigeria due to the arm conflict.
Equally, kidnapping has been the order of the day. Many women, men and youths have been kidnapped and ransom paid for their release. Most of those who have not been able to pay huge ransom have been allegedly killed by their abductors.This has received widespread condemnation across the board including the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, the European Union, the USA, UK, France, and the Nobel Women’s Initiative.
A case in point is that of the Head Mistress of Government Bilingual Practicing School Station Kumba I, Fondong Stella Njunkeng. According to information gathered, she was kidnapped by armed men in Muyuka on January 6, 2020 while on her way back to Kumba from a regional pedagogic seminar in Buea, and taken deep in the forest. Madam Fondong was released few days after, following the intervention of family members, and taken to the hospital where she received treatment for minor injuries, a family source hinted. At press time that forces of law and order were working on tracking down the culprits.
According to experts,Incidents like this often has far reaching and despicable consequences to the spouse(s), children and other relatives of victims including but not limited to loss of focus and concentration, most especially for children preparing for examinations. This has been the case of Madam Fondong’s daughter, Jingwa Awungacha Cynthia, who is embarking on a Masters in Educational Sciences at Vrije Universiteit in Brussel, and many others students whose parent were also kidnapped.
The SUN has it on good record that Jingwa was so traumatized by the kidnapping of her beloved mother that she couldn’t write her examination for the 2019/2020 academic year, especially as she is not able to travel to visit her mother due to security concerns.
The country is now considered unsafe by many Anglophones in the diaspora who fear arrest or death if they return to the country. While the Anglophone crisis continues to escalate, International Organisations and other Western powers have called on the Government to address the root cause of the crisis through dialogue. Recently, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to exert “maximum pressure” on President Paul Biya of Cameroon, to end Cameroon’s intolerable Human Rights violations but the arm conflict rages on.