In the early hours of Monday morning, gunmen attacked sleeping people in the town of Mamfe in southwestern Cameroon. At least 20 people were killed and another seven injured. The attack is the latest in a series of violence in the region, where separatists are fighting for the independence of Ambazonia.
A night of horror in Mamfe
Early Monday morning, gunmen attacked the town of Mamfe, which is located in the west of Cameroon, less than 50 km from the border with Nigeria. The assailants, who remain unidentified, spared nothing and fired at the houses while the residents slept. At least 20 victims were the result of their cruel actions.
“There were men, women and children, more than 20 dead,” said Minister in the Office of the President Mengot Victor Arrey-Nkongho for public radio.
The struggle for independence
Since 2017, Cameroon has been dealing with conflicts in the minority English-speaking parts of the country. The separatists are fighting to carve out the independent state of Ambazonia, sparking a wave of violence in the region. Armed groups carry out attacks, kidnappings and murders in the country’s predominantly French-speaking northwest and southwest regions.
The situation is “under control”
Despite the horrific attack in Mamfe, the situation does not seem to be completely out of control. Security forces are conducting searches in the area while seven injured people are hospitalized. Official Viang Mekala stated that “the situation is under control and residents should not panic.” However, it should be noted that this incident is just one of many that have plagued Cameroon in relation to the long-running conflict.
Surprisingly, no specific armed group claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack. This leaves questions about the identity of the attackers and their motivations. There is still fear and uncertainty among local residents about what the future holds.
Both separatists and government forces are blamed for the atrocities here. Armed groups are regularly accused of kidnapping and killing civilians they accuse of collaborating with the Cameroonian authorities. Last month, insurgents publicly “executed” two villagers in the northwest region whom they accused of collaborating with the military.
Thus, this attack in Cameroon has again highlighted the ongoing conflict in the country and has shown that peace remains a distant goal for many residents who have become innocent victims of violence.
Info sources: X, https://www.voaafrica.com/a/nearly-20-people-killed-in-cameroon-separatist-attack/7343503.html, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa /gunmen-kill-least-20-pre-dawn-attack-cameroon-local-official-2023-11-06/
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