Gunmen claiming to be members of Cameroon’s separatists’ movement have set up plantations and detention facilities across Muyuka in the South West Region of Cameroon. The now force villagers to plant plantains The National Times has investigated.
On Thursday, September 6, villagers in Bafia-Muyuka woke up to a new order from gunmen, instructing every one for community labour. Inhabitants told The National Times that they were asked to plant plantains on land which the ‘Amba Boys’ as they are popularly called consider their estates.
Our respondents said the order was respected to the letter. Some of the villagers explained to the National Times that even aged men who could not answer present at the ‘community labour’ sent their younger children to represent them in the farming exercise.
The farms are said to be located in an expanse which colonial masters used to farm bananas and export to their countries. Such lands have been named after colonial companies such as ‘Elders and File’.
Besides the setting up of plantations, the gunmen have erected detention facilities. Investigations which The National Times carried out indicate that there are separate detention facilities from male and female.
Those detained here are mostly debtors and persons found operating contrary to the dictates of the gunmen. Villagers told The National Times that curfews in the villages begin from 9:00pm. Bikes which circulate beyond this period are impounded and owners are fined before reclaiming their property.
This development is an extension of separatists’ courts that having been hearing matters for months now in the villages.
Bafia-Muyuka is not new to such since the current Crisis. In 2017, a gang emerged in the frenzy of popular uprisings and set up similar detention facilities.
Then, the gang used the village Government Primary school.
It took a peoples’ revolt and security operation to crackdown on the gang. Its leaders were arrested. Some are known to be detained in Yaounde.
Before the population could revolt, they were subjected to arbitrary arrest, beatings and detentions. Today, the gunmen are known to be levying fines on defaulters in the form of bags of rice and other items.
The ban on the consumption of beer and attack on school campuses sparked-off in the village of Bafia Muyuka. Today, much of the South West Region is without the supply of beer for fear of separatists.