10, June 2022
Once news about the burning of the Mamfe General Hospital emerged, many people started condemning the military and most people based their argument on the fact that a checkpoint had been established opposite the hospital and that those military officers at the checkpoint were supposed to have acted while the operation was going on.
While the military is not made up of saints and angels, the evidence emerging is gradually incriminating Amba fighters who, many Mamfe residents accuse of having been masterminding the destruction of the town for months now. Many point to the burning of the Mamfe Motor Park which resulted in the deaths of at least two people and there are people in Mamfe who know a lot but cannot speak because of threats and fear of possible revenge.
According to a nurse who was on duty at the Mamfe General hospital on Wednesday when hell suddenly broke loose at the hospital and who has pleaded for her name and identity to be protected, the military checkpoint opposite the hospital had been dismantled long before the burning of the hospital.
She added that she did recognize some of the boys who are Mamfe boys, adding that she was scared of her security and was going through a depression after having known that the boys who burnt down the hospital were indeed young Mamfe boys she knew.
She explained that before the buildings were burned down, the criminals who pass off as Amba fighters had ordered every sick person to leave, but there was a lady who could not walk because she had just been operated upon. The criminals had to carry the lady to a house close to the hospital to drop her off there as if that was their home.
When the owner of the house, Mr. Adolf Limungang, who is a businessman in Mamfe refused that the lady should not be kept there, the Amba boys kidnapped Mr. Limungang who is now in the bush for challenging the Amba boys. The criminals are now asking for a CFAF 10 million ransom if they must release Mr. Limungang who has nothing to do with the struggle and Amba boys.
Mr. Adolf Limungang is now in the bushes and based on information from those who saw the boys, Mr Mr. Adolf Limungang also knew the boys and this may complicate things for him. While some Manyu people living abroad and out of the Division have been insinuating that those who committed such atrocities were boys coming from other parts of Southern Cameroons, the evidence is now pointing to something else, and our source is clearly urging people of Manyu to stop blaming other people for their problems.
“Brother, we cannot continue to blame other people for our stupidity. I know some of the boys who came and brunt the hospital. They are boys I see here in town all the time. They are young unemployed boys who are totally under the influence of drugs. I am simply scared to call their names and I think if I call their names, they may come after me,” she stressed.
“We are our own worst enemy. The military only came in after the incident and the soldiers helped to carry some of the helpless patients who were in the corridor to safety. The military can be blamed for other things, but they are not responsible for this act of wickedness. I saw it with my own eyes, and it will be unfair and wrong for me to blame other people. Our own Manyu boys have ruined one big asset we had in our Division. Where will our pregnant women be going for consultations now? Not everybody has money to travel out of the Division or to go to private clinics,” she lamented.
“Why would any normal person be burning a hospital that is helping everybody? Do Amba fighters and their families not need a hospital? The same boys have issued threats that they will burn the Mamfe Central Market and there has been a mad rush to pack out of the market on Thursday. Traders have taken their products out of the market and most shops will be closed for days. How is the ordinary man going to cope with this unhealthy situation that Mamfe boys are creating for their own people. Inflation is already killing us. Why are we doing this to ourselves?” he regretted.
“I have lost my job. Like most nurses, I just wanted to help the sick. I liked seeing people recover from their illnesses. If the hospital cannot be rebuilt in a few months’ time, then I might be heading out of the town to look for a different job. Let us not try to pin this on the military. Mamfe boys are responsible. I saw them and I know them, and I know where their families are. A friend of mine who was also on duty is now going through a depression. She is already in Kumba and she might not be coming back to Mamfe. None of us ever thought Manyu boys would destroy their own hospital,” she said.
Many people have been asking and will continue to ask why Amba fighters will burn the Mamfe General hospital, but the answer is also a question. What do they gain by stopping children from going to school for five years? What do they gain by undressing young girls who only want to study? The videos are out there and those who undressed those young girls and boys were not soldiers.
What do they gain by chasing students from schools in rural parts of Southern Cameroons? Are they Olympians who just want to be running? Even if they want to represent a country at the Olympics, which country will they be representing? Why practice for Olympics with young schoolboys and girls who simply need knowledge in order to be ready for a future which will be knowledge-based?
While investigations are still underway, it is wrong to dismiss the role Amba fighters are playing in the destruction of infrastructure in a region which is infrastructure deficient.
The initial objectives of the struggle were noble, but with time, they have morphed into something many people no longer understand. Many young men who pass off as Amba fighters are now very destructive and their objective is to make money – be it by crook or by hook.
It is good to support struggles, but it is wise to support a struggle that is well coordinated and under the control of responsible leaders. The Amba struggle is off its rails and those holding guns are intent on destroying than promoting the well-being of their people.
In villages today, Amba fighters have become judges and lawyers, with many imposing stratospheric amounts on people who have not committed any crime. Many innocent people have lost their lives not because the military killed them, but because gun-toting Amba fighters hold that they have the right to determine who has to die and who has to live.
A revolution is not supposed to make things worse, but the one in Southern Cameroons is destroying the very people and properties it is supposed to protect. It is time to revisit the struggle and to redefine new objectives, if only the leaders have any control over the Amba fighters.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with files from Kingsley Betek, John Besong and Fon Lawrence