Ekona – In the week that was in Southern Cameroons, the people of Ekona rose up as one and demanded a stop to French exploitation of their land. Tired of the high unemployment in the area, tired of the shoddy roads and shoddy schools and shoddy infrastructure, in concert with the demand of the people of Southern Cameroons for equal treatment and equal opportunity, the people of Ekona decided to stand up against the exploitation of their resources. In this guise, they decided to demand that the construction company SATOM cease operating in their area since they benefit nothing from their presence. SOGEA SATOM describes itself as:
A leading player in building and public works in Africa, Sogea-Satom is active in over 20 countries through its network of subsidiaries and employs 12,000 people. As a company that encompasses multiple business lines, we design, build, and maintain infrastructure and equipment that enhance daily life and facilitate transport.
The people of Ekona and of Southern Cameroons reap no benefits from this and so this week there was an uprising in Ekona where roads were blocked and made impassable especially with a company that decided to ignore the call for a Ghost Town by the people. Their actions, in ignoring the locals, stand in total contradiction to what the company says it stands for;
We measure our performance in more than financial terms. Our performance is also based on achieving social, environmental, and community value. We ensure that projects mesh harmoniously with the local social fabric and contribute to local and regional development – these are vital objectives for us.
There has been no social, environmental or community value to their operations in the Southern Cameroons and Ekona. A place rocked by roads that are right out of primitive times, with no members of its community employed in the company, with the company interested in only sending in trucks to destroy the landscape and get the gravel and rocks for it to export to La Republique Du Cameroun (LRC) and build its roads and bridges, the Ekona people finally said enough! In their protests, the forces of LRC went berserk as they have so often done these past months in the Southern Cameroons.
When one got his gun out and finally fired on youths who had no where to run to as this reporter was told, because it was an open space and they knew that they will be shot in the back running like dogs, they charged the shooting paramilitary, sustaining injuries but also reaching him as he ran out of bullets. They poured all of their anger and frustration on him and took away his gun. He died and now Ekona and environ is being turned upside down as LRC hold the town collectively responsible and is raping, maiming and shooting people as they demand a return of the gun and headcounts to pay for the death of one of their own. As we speak, the people of Ekona, Muea and environs are now refugees and those who can, are migrating from the area not unlike those in a war zone.
Reporting for abakwatimes
Weah Mbock, news@abakwatimes