The Southern Cameroons crisis has entered a very critical phase, with journalists now being targeted as a means of hiding crimes against humanity committed in Cameroon’s English-speaking cities and towns. As the government seeks to wrap up things very fast, it is now targeting young male adults and it has, over the last month, ordered its troops to shoot and kill.
This order is in force in the two English-speaking regions and journalists are not exempt, especially those who are under cover. Two weeks ago, Kingsley Betek almost lost his life in Muyuka as he was under cover to investigate the killings in Fako Division. While trying to check out a timber truck that was being escorted to Douala, Kingsley Betek missed the bullets of a trigger happy soldier.
He missed death by the skin of his teeth as the bullet scraped his hair before finding accommodation in a nearby tree. Luckily for him, the soldiers just continued their journey as the timber was more important than human beings.
He has been stopped on many occasions in Buea and Limbe while seeking to cover some events. Many soldiers have stopped him, but have never really linked him to the famous news group that is providing a balanced report of the crisis.
But it is Irene Nanyongo who is having a tough time plying her trade in the region. She is permanently harassed and she has already received many death threats from some unknown individuals.
It is becoming dangerous to practice this profession today in Cameroon. Other journalists such as Mimi Mefo and Nfor Prince of other media groups are permanently in fear of their lives.
With the passing of each day, the regime is becoming more desperate and it does not want its atrocities in the region to be reported. The international community is breathing down its neck and this is causing it to be erratic in its efforts to hide the crimes against humanity that its soldiers are committing.
By Asu Vera Eyere