Gunmen Kill 10, Injure 2 in Attack at Busy Junction in Northwest Cameroon

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City Houses Under the Thick Fog

Attackers Open Fire at Bamenda Junction, Accusing Cameroon Locals of Failing to Support Separatist Cause

YAOUNDE – Gunmen killed 10 people and injured another two at a busy junction in the city of Bamenda in Cameroon’s troubled northwest, the regional governor said on Monday.

Members of the Cameroonian Gendarmerie patrols in the Omar Bongo Square of Cameroon's majority anglophone South West province capital Buea on October 3, 2018 during a rally in support of Cameroonian President Paul Biya.
Members of the Cameroonian Gendarmerie patrols in the Omar Bongo Square of Cameroon’s majority anglophone South West province capital Buea on October 3, 2018 during a rally in support of Cameroonian President Paul Biya.

A witness said the attackers arrived in vehicles late on Sunday, ordered people onto the floor with accusations of failing to back local separatists, and opened fire as some obeyed while others ran. The incident occurred at Nacho Junction, where restaurants, bars, and shops are located, at around 7:30 p.m. (1830 GMT). The attackers, allegedly dressed in military uniforms, shot at people indiscriminately before fleeing the scene.

The Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF), the main separatist group in the English-speaking region, denied responsibility for the attack. The group has been engaged in a conflict since 2017, protesting alleged marginalization by the majority French-speaking government. ADF spokesperson Lucas Asu suggested that the attackers could have been disguised as separatist fighters, raising the possibility of revenge killing.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in English-speaking regions of Cameroon since 2017. (AFP pic)
More than 6,000 people have been killed in English-speaking regions of Cameroon since 2017. (AFP pic)

Cameroon’s English-Speaking Region Plunged into Violence Amidst Ongoing Conflict

In response to the massacre, North West region governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique announced a manhunt for the perpetrators, referring to them as “terrorists.” Governor Lafrique assured the public that investigations were underway and that a statement would be issued later in the day.

Cameroon’s English-speaking regions have been marred by violence since 2017, with over 6,000 people losing their lives in the conflict. The unrest initially erupted following the violent suppression of protests. Both government troops and separatist militias have been implicated in killings, rapes, torture, and the burning of houses, as highlighted by human rights group Amnesty International. The organization also expressed concern over threats and detentions targeting those who speak out against the atrocities.

The conflict in Anglophone areas has killed more than 400 people since last year [Reuters]

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The situation in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions remains tense, with escalating violence and a growing number of civilian casualties. The government and separatist groups must urgently seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict, ensuring the protection of human rights and promoting dialogue for a sustainable solution. – Reuters