19, September 2018
Silence in the face of injustice and massacre is tantamount to acquiescence. The world needs to know what is happening in Southern Cameroons, and bringing this information to the world is the work of journalists and writers.
For many weeks now, Southern Cameroonian activists, writers and journalists have been very quiet about what is happening in the two English-speaking regions of the country.
This is no good news for those who have been trapped in those parts of the country. As the fighting between government forces and separatists rages on, the world needs to be aware of the atrocities committed by both camps.
This is the job of people who have made it a duty to deliver information to the less informed. But over the last weeks, not much information is filtering out of the region and this is concerning.
With many people fleeing in different directions, it is clear that the level of atrocities could be very high. Now that the field is empty, it is clear only soldiers are walking the streets and there will be nobody to question their actions.
These soldiers have been known to burn homes and even roast occupants of many homes to death. Children have been killed and grandmothers have been left to feign for themselves. The world needs to know all of these stories.
Regarding separatist fighters, they too have been accused, time without number, of committing gruesome atrocities. Many people suspected of working with the government have been shot point blank by these fighters. Many people have been kidnapped and huge ransoms have been demanded.
Rights groups like the International Crisis Groups and Amnesty International have documented some of these atrocities unfolding in cities, but what is happening in the villages and small towns of Southern Cameroons will remain unknown to the outside world as there are no journalists and writers to bring the gory images to the world.
With millions out of their homes in Southern Cameroons, thieves will be having a field day. Even soldiers will use the occasion offered to them by the upcoming elections to ransack homes and make away with valuables such television sets, musical sets and mattresses.
The private media and freelance journalists have to make their presence on the ground heard. They need to investigate those atrocities that are taking place behind the cameras.
Yesterday, soldiers carried out a house-to-house search in Nnoko Street in Kumba and there are no reports about this. Even government officials have not been able to inform the public of what is happening. The few people still living in the city are all in fear of the worst.
The world is concerned. And it is on this basis that the Chairman of Cameroon Concord News Group, Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai, is looking for investigative journalists to head to those towns to find out what is happening after most of the people have left.
Many residents of Mamfe, Kembong, Agborkem German, Ewelle, Dadi and other towns have simply crossed the border to Nigeria, while those living in Buea, Kumba, Limbe, Muyuka, Ekona and other cities have escaped the violence to Douala, Dschang, Bafoussam and Yaounde. Most East Cameroonian cities have become congested as a result of this mass movement.
I personally hail this initiative by the Cameroon Concord News Group. I am even happier to know that the salaries for those journalists who will undertake such missions will be close to USD 2,000 a month. Good job Cameroon Concord News Group. Your lead and role in the crisis that is ruining Cameroon is being appreciated by all. With limited resources, you are delivering the truth to the world.
I was wondering why these stories have been left unreported. With your initiative, the world will be able to have a balanced perspective of what is going on in the northwest and southwest regions after the people fled their homeland.
I know a lot is happening there. I know the government is not saying anything. I know the fighters are spitting fire. But I think once the world gets a good picture of the reality, there will be some international efforts to end the genocide that is playing out in the region. I am just thinking aloud again!