By Wenda Kongyu, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Kumbo – Residents of Bui and Kumbo are yet to come to terms with the harrowing killing of 16 year old Sevidzem Cyprian in the village of Kifem, a few kilometers out of Kumbo, and the second largest town in the Northwest Region of Cameroon.
Four days after the incident, more light has been shed on the incident that left 3 people dead. Eye witness accounts on the ground related to the Cameroon Journal how the company commander for the Gendarmerie in the area and his men had gone to the village of Kifem in search of marijuana. With Kifem being a remote village of a few hundred persons who are mostly farmers and given that the day was a ghost town, homes were deserted so that the Company Commander and his men were unable to find anyone to ask about the drug-containing plant they had come in search of.
Young Cyprian who was returning from the farm with corn on his head, saw the Gendarmes breaking into the mostly vacant homes as occupants were farming. Seeing this, Cyprian attempted to raise an alarm but was shot. The gendarmes are reported to have been rushing livestock including chicken and goats.
Speaking to the Cameroon Journal from the village of Kikaikom, a witness who opted for anonymity said; “The company commander had a knack for getting into trouble and had a grumpy attitude. He is said to have held the rope of one of Nso’s most dreaded jujus Nkoh and his troubles are said to have begun from there” our source explained.
“Seeing that he was in trouble, he ran to seek intervention from the Fon of Nso who said he (the Fon) is in no position to intervene and that he (the company commander) needed to see a shufai for the appropriate traditional rites to be performed.” Our source clarified, adding that the goats and chickens the commander and his boys were rounding up without owners’ permission may have been for those rites.
Cyprian’s body was brought to Kumbo a few hours after his murder by an irate mob of youths who went through the town chanting songs. At the Squares, things turned bloody as the mean company commander and his men used teargas and gun shots in attempts to disperse the
swelling crowds and “seize” Cyprian’s body which they took to a hospital mortuary in Kumbo. The hospital authorities refused keeping the body, saying tensions were high and that the hospital could be burned down by the population. The gun shots left one person dead and another person was killed at Tobin (the administrative neighborhood of Kumbo) when the population stood their ground demanding for the body of Cyprian. Shots were again fired and one hit Abdul Aziz, a mechanic who was going to refund a client’s car he had been repairing. These other shootings further inflamed the mob.
With the hospital having refused to keep the corpse of the murdered teenager in their mortuary, the gendarmes took the body out of Kumbo. It is currently unclear where the body is but speculations are that it could be in Jakiri or Bamenda.
Even though it has been announced that the perpetrators of the act have been fired, the entire Northwest Region is on a red
alert after the latest in a chain of killings by uniformed men. Schools were expected to re-open September 4 but the killings might be the fuel to keep the school shutdown running.
Some have questioned why the Company Commander had to be fired if he killed the teenager in self-defense as state-owned CRTV announced. Joseph Beti Asomo (who never visited the scene) had reported that the now fired officer was “attacked” by the young boy and the population.
It is worth mentioning that while the number of Anglophones who have died at the hands of police and gendarmes is unclear, the numbers could run into the hundreds.
A few of them are unforgettable especially as they are mostly from Nso. A security guard was gunned down at Bambili when trigger-happy police fired at unarmed youths in the wake of the crisis, videos that went viral on social media showed police breaking into students’ hostels in Buea and molesting them, a young University of Bamenda student by name Akum Julius was gunned down by a live bullet late last year around Commercial Avenue.
These are just some of the many people who have lost their lives because of the overzealousness of Cameroon security officers.