Buea – As La Republique Du Cameroun (LRC) continue with its crackdown of the people of Southern Cameroons, one of the hallmarks of this suppression has been a new class of citizens in the Southern Cameroons – Refugees. Its numbers yet has not reached crisis proportions but this week has seen a continuation of a trend this reporter has noted.
As the current crackdown this week, in Victoria and Ekona and Muea, this reporter has encountered throngs of people, mostly women and children migrating as if in a war zone, with whatever belongings they can piece together at short notice, tied in cloth and carried on their heads as they trudge through tough terrains on foot, for miles to relatives places or just to get out of the siege that LRC has laid on their communities.
Yesterday Friday, Amnesty International finally reacted with a tame statement calling on LRC to respect basic human rights. To this reporter it seemed a tame statement, too little, too late. For this not to get out of hand and reach crisis proportions, the international community must react with the urgency it reserves for serious humanitarian crisis for this is what this reporter is observing on the ground developing in the Southern Cameroons.
The people are now hell-bent on asserting their rights to self determination and ultimately independence from what they have come to view as an evil and unequal alliance with LRC and hence French colonial Africa. Just this week, this reporter observed the flags of Cameroun being torn away from places while other foreign flags like those of the US and Nigeria are left alone.
As the forces of LRC tighten their grip and the noose around the neck of the Southern Cameroons, it has made reporting extremely difficult as internet services and phones have been suspended and cut around the territory. Specific phone numbers have been blocked and calls cannot get through and one activist told me that people whose phones have been blocked should not go to the phone companies to have their phones reactivated or unblocked because that is a trap. That they government do not know the individuals from Jack, but through the French eavesdropping on their calls, they know the phone numbers and have specifically blocked them, knowing that they will go to the phone offices to reactivate the numbers and that is how they will be kidnapped.
The reaction of the youths in Buea and Bamenda has been to begin burning down the phone companies antennas and booths, with the phone companies playing the victims indicating that as part of their contract to operate, the government of LRC has the right to ask them to suspend services at any time.