4000 persons in Batibo displaced after deadly clashes between gunmen and security forces

Cameroon police officials walk with riot shields on a street in the administrative quarter of Buea. Photographer: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Journal du Cameroun | Villages like Korgwe, Effa, Koroko, Ambo and Angie in Batibo Subdivision of the North West Region are not only empty, but also in shambles, following deadly clashes between unknown gunmen and security forces.

According to reports, over 4000 locals have deserted their ancestral site after the March 3, 2018, confrontation between the Cameroon army and some unknown gunmen who are reportedly paying allegiance to the Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF).

The March 3 incident is said to have been the bloodiest of all confrontations between the Cameroonian troops and the ADF, since the commencement of the Anglophone Crisis.

It is also reported that villages like Gurissen, Kwano and Tingto, have completely been reduced to rubbles.

Speaking to reporters in Bamenda, the Mayor of Batibo, FrederickTanjoh, confirmed that there were deadly clashes between troops and ADF, with untold casualties.

Even though he could not give an exact number of persons who perished in the confrontation, social media has been awash by information that over 70 soldiers were killed by the gunmen, while hundreds of the gunmen also paid the supreme prize. Even though could not independently ascertain the number of deaths, it can however confirm from thorough investigations that the collateral damage was colossal.

“People who were on the Bamenda-Batibo Highway have confirmed that they saw legs of people dangling from a military truck heading towards Bamenda after the March 3 incident. As we are talking, nobody is willing to give information about the causalities recorded so far and we are only left with prayers.Mass arrests of civilians is the order of the day in Lower Batibo…” Mayor Tanjoh confirmed.

The municipal authority also revealed that since the upheavals in Batibo started, some Fons have also deserted their palaces and are taking refuge in Bamenda, while the whole Subdivision is swamping with uniform men, some in assorted dresses.

It would be recalled that Batibo came into the Anglophone Crisis spotlight on February 11, when the then DO of the area, Marcel Namata Diteng was abducted by gone at the Grandstand.

As all efforts were focused on finding the DO, the gunmen also kidnapped the Northwest Regional Delegate of Social Affairs, Animbom Aaron Akiabom. Till date, both officials have been held incommunicado by their abductors.