Contributed by Nkafu Gabriel
For two days now, the town of Sangmelima in the Dja and Lobo division of the South region of Cameroon has been in total chaos. It all began some four days back when a commercial bike rider whose name we got as Belinga Junior was unexpectedly found death. His phone was later found with a suspect. It is reported that this suspect had earlier threatened the deceased who was apparently an in-law to him.
When the body of the deceased was found, it was discovered that it had been mutilated and the mother of the decease lost consciousness on the spot. A further probe was triggered and seven more suspects of Bamoun origin were brought into the picture.
In the early hours of Wednesday October 9, 2019, angered youths of the town who couldn’t administer jungle justice on the main suspect who was taken away by the Police decided to go on rampage;
several shops and warehouses were attacked, ransacked and goods were looted.
The situation was in fact described as unbearable and it could only take the intervention of the Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) for Dja and Lobo for calm to be restored in the town.
Many had reported that it was an attack on non-indigenes as only property belonging to those indigenes described as “strangers” were destroyed. However, the SDO was quick to dismiss such claims in a communiqué.
Many were happy the town was calm at last but today October 10, 2019, the uprising continued and even degenerated.
According to sources, some non-indigenes decided to retaliate today after losing their shops and other valuables to the uprising that began yesterday. More shops were attacked and some even set ablaze. Roads were barricaded and schools were equally not left out of the tension.
Parents were called up this morning to come get their children from the schools. Reports say most of the schools were emptied except for GBHS Sangmelima because it is out of town.
It would appear the focus of the uprising is gradually shifting to a protest. Many of the indigenes have recently been using the opportunity to call on the President of Cameroon to free all elites from the South region who are presently at the Kondengui maximum security prison, including those jailed for the embezzlement of state funds.
Fortunately, no life has been lost in the uprising but many are hoping that measures will be taken to handle the situation before it escalates further, considering that the country can’t afford another crisis at the moment.