By Hans Ngala, Monday, September 5
Cameroon Journal, Kumbo – Events took a dark twist in the town of Kumbo after gendarmes “killed” a 16-year old whose names we got as Sevidzem Cyprian. Reports say Cyprian was hit by a stray bullet while passing by the home of a man suspected of growing marijuana in the village of Kifem, around Tatum, a few kilometers west of Kumbo.
Gendarmes had a tip-off that the nicotine-containing plant was being grown in the area and went to apprehend the suspect. When they got to the scene and could not immediately find the drug-containing plant, they are reported to have proceeded to rounding up the man’s goats. Cyprian, angered by what he saw, raised an alarm, alerting other villagers who descended on the scene and got into a scuffle with the red-capped officers. In the heated struggle with tempers flaring, shots were fired and one hit Cyprian.
The soldiers will not leave the corpse with the family but took it to Kumbo, much to the chagrin of the villagers who followed their deceased kinsman to far away Kumbo, many doing the treacherous journey over muddy roads on bikes.
Things again took another dramatic turn in Kumbo when the population stood their ground, demanding for the body of Cyprian in front of the Senior Divisional Officer’s office at Tobin. The SDO’s office is reported to have been pelted with stones by the irate mob. In response, the security forces again responded with brute force, firing shots that left one man admitted at a hospital in Kumbo.
Earlier, a witness on the ground reported that one of the gendarmes who was rustling livestock was attacked with a machete and left severely wounded at an intensive care unit at a hospital in Kumbo, as was the man who was growing the marijuana.
In the midst of the commotion, gun shots were fired by security personnel to contain the swelling crowds that were pouring in from
neighboring villages. Some are reported to have gone to seek the intervention of the Fon of Nso but the Fon refused to come out from his inner chamber, an act that got the mob upset all the more. With the anger, some of them went to a nearby government school and set it ablaze. Images on social media showed the school littered with white sheets of paper while smoke and flames billowed from windows in one of the buildings.
A flag of the now unrecognized state of Southern Cameroons was equally hoisted at the heart of Kumbo Squares as a sign of protest, while tires were burned at the roundabout just in front of the Kumbo Cathedral.
At press time, two persons had given up the ghost in hospital but no official statement has been issued by the authorities in Kumbo.
It is worth mentioning that while the incident wasn’t directly linked to the non-school resumption, others have questioned why the gendarmes only chose to go after the Indian hemp cultivator today of all days.