Friday, November 22, 2019

Anglophone Crisis: these murderers from the north-west, are in Bafoussam

I always arrive with a beating heart, since the first time I set foot there in January 1964. My father, young Inspector of Youth and Sports, returned from France for his training (my mother and I he had joined in 1961), and had been appointed boss at Dschang of the Regional Center for Physical and Sports Education, CREPS, ancestor of the INS, then of the INJS, replacing the White who was then director, a French, and at the same time patron of Youth and Sports in the Western Region.

The chief town of the region had just been transferred from Dschang to Bafoussam, but many services had not yet moved, including Youth and Sports. Bafoussam at the time, like most other cities in the country, except for all the Douala, was a dusty city, and therefore, all red. There was virtually no paved road. We had lunch at noon with Captain Semengue Pierre, my mother's classmate at the Lolodorf elementary school, at war with the "maquisards" in the region. 

In fact, coming from Douala, after Nkongsamba, we had to go directly to Dschang, through the plain of Mboo, from Melong. But, as a precaution, my father went to the Prefecture to ask for advice. The Prefect, terrified, put his hands on his head and asked him: "Are you tired of living? Huh? They (the maquisards) will slit you with all your family !!! Go through Bafoussam, at least there is a little safer... "We had arrived in Dschang in the afternoon, went to report our arrival to the Prefect Keutcha Jean, as it was asked to all officials, account the "maquisards", to do it so that they would be protected by the army and the gendarmerie... To be assigned to the West at the time was, in the light of the violence that prevailed there, a little like be affected nowadays to Mamfe, Kumba, Wum, Nkamb√©, Bengwi, etc., where the secessionist slaughterers reign. Many officials refused to go ... 

Since then, the "maquis" has stopped, and I have returned several times to Bafoussam, where I have friends and family. I always had a good time. I often go to Mbouda, where I also have family in Babissengué neighborhood, not far from UCCAO.

Last month, visiting Cameroon, I went again. That the city has changed since my last stay with my late friend Gonda Nounga Jean-Pierre of MANIDEM, in July 2011! I found it in full rebirth, many roads that I had left completely dilapidated, are fully rehabilitated, asphalted. They were happy to see, remembering what they had been a few years ago. The work of the CAN is transforming the capital of the West. So much better !!!! 

BUT, I HAVE FIND NEW "MAQUISARDS" ... 

The "ambaboys", unrepentant butchers from the northwest, reign there. They call people. Require them to "contribute to the struggle". Ask them to pay ransoms of two million francs, otherwise, they come to attack them! My family of the city, of the Bamileke, of course, native of Babadjou, had just received on the telephone this frightful summons. "In two days you must pay us the sum of 2 millions! Otherwise, we kill your children, period." Total panic. After a thousand discussions, I dragged my family to the police. She was afraid to go. Commissioner's reply: "This is the 147 complaint I receive, I mean, 147! How many people pay by fear !!! There are also complaints to the gendarmerie! We track down these bandits. You did well to come and file a complaint". Two days later, the police came to arrest an "English-speaking apprentice mechanic", not far from my family. But he had already disappeared, no doubt informed by some accomplice at the police station. It's been almost a month since I came back from Cameroon, it has still not reappeared ...


Reporter: Enoh Meyomesse