The palace of the Chief of Ebonji, Tombel Sub-division, Kupe-Muanenguba Division of the South West Region of Cameroon has been razed by fire following a Thursday September 6 arson attack.
It comes 72 hours after a military raid across the farming locality in the early hours of Monday September 3. Security operatives are reported to have switched their search light on Ebonji to erode separatists’ pressure.
The National Times gathered that on that Monday, several houses in what is considered the business district of the village suffered from burnings.
Neither the military nor suspected Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) members have taken responsibility for the burning of houses.
Some locals in the village claimed it was the elements of the security forces, who set the houses ablaze. Though security elements combed the village in search of the ‘Ambazonia Fighters, the military hierarchy is yet to comment on the operation
Gunmen are suspected to have put the Palace of Chief Mbembe Mbong Princely on fire over accusations that he has been dinning with the regime and particularly security forces.
Chief Mbong was not around when fire engulfed his palace.
Hundreds of inhabitants, who escaped Ebonji since Monday, are yet to return following the renewed pressure that breathed insecurity. Ebonji has been a hotbed of gun attacks and popular street protests since the early days of the current Crisis. At one point, gunmen reportedly used charms to derail a truck loaded with soldiers.
The burning of the palace brings to at least three royal homes that have gone up in flames within Kupe-Muanengba Division since the Anglophone Crisis started. First, it was the palace of Chief Christopher Kome Alobwede of Etam in Tombel Sub-division. Months back, Chief Kome escaped and gunmen set the palace ablaze. A coffin was later placed in front of it.
A few weeks after, it was the turn of Nguti, a Sub-divisional headquarter. Inhabitants only returned from church one faithful Sunday only to behold the home of their traditional ruler on fire.
Similar acts have been committed in palaces across Anglophone Cameroon. Most Anglophone Chiefs no longer reside in their villages for fear of the unknown.