Cameroon Army Burning Villages as a War Strategy1

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By: Nche Tala Aghanwi

14th May 2019

Cameroon is soaked in blood as violence has escalated to levels never before experienced in the history of the nation. French speaking troops mostly from Cameroons notorious BIR battalion have been involved in a series of random barbaric attacks, which include rape, killings, burning, kidnapping, and torture among others directed towards Anglophones resident in the two English speaking parts of the country.

The humanitarian crisis in Cameroon has reached tipping points yet the war continues to get very limited international attention despite the countless desperate voices of Anglophone activists calling for greater involvement of the international organizations. This war is perhaps the most neglected war in the world at the moment and yet it risks destabilizing the entire region.

This violence actually escalated on October 2016 when citizens of the English speaking regions of Cameroon rose up in resistance against decades old history of marginalization, demanding autonomy from French Cameroon. The Cameroonian government’s response to this has been ruthless and barbaric violating every international chatter which stands for human rights protection.

In some of the villages where Anglophones have fled the violence in their villages in to the bushes they have returned only to discover that their homes have been completely razed down by members of Cameroons elite military force. In most cases they have returned to find entire villages completely razed down, including farms and already harvested food crops. The vast majority of the razed villages are completely deserted as the former residents fear returning due to military excesses. What is also shocking is that not just human beings are being targeted livestock and other animals belonging to local indigenes are being directly targeted by the military.

The Africa Science Diplomacy and Policy Network have been able to identify more than 110 villages that have been raided by the Cameroon military and burnt to the ground. These villages include the following:

Ikiliwindi, Labonge, Bekondo, Kombone Mission, Nganjo, Kwa Kwa, Ekombe, Small Ekombe, Bombele, Bangele, Kumukumu, Mbalangi, Mofako Butu, Camdev, Nake, Big Massaka, Dipenda, Kumbe Balue, Dipenda, Dadi, Navas, Ngali, Kumku, Mamfe, Etoko, Gurifen, Mbeme, Mutengene, Muea, Bolifamba, Ekona, Muyuka, Munyenge, Ikata, Bai Panya, Bokosso, Foe Bakundu, Bole Bakun, Bakumba, Big Mgbandi, Ediki, Kuke, Mbiame, Kumbo, Djottin, Bafut, Efah, Kembong, Njeke, Mambanda, Kumba Town, Konye, Dipenda Bakundu, Wone, Dikomi Bafaw, Mbengwi, Njinibi, Njindom, Alatchu, Kumbe Balue, Nguti, Babensi, Etam, Tombel, Ebonji, Mombo, Tali 1, Tali 2, Anjin, Acha, Full, Njinikom, Makende, Bafia, Yoke, Azi, Menji, Alou, Kajifu 1, Kajifu 2, Belo, Ajang, Ayajua, Djicham, Eka