A section of cameroon might have been in festive mood in the past couple of days but that was not kthe case in several towns and villages in the English-speaking parts of the country where scenes of violence were recorded.
Even before Christmas day, there was outrage both on and offline after pictures emerged of children and women seeking refuge bushes after fleeing from the conflict between armed separatists and security forces.
In the South West region, gunhots were heard at the Mile 16 neighbourhood, at the entrance to Buea on Monday December 24 forcing residents to remain indoors in addition to the traditional ghost town operation that had swept across the region.
More violence was recorded in Buea the next day December 25 as two vehicles were burnt on the stretch of the road between Mile 17 and Muea forcing residents to remain indoors on Christmas day.
“Six heavily armed men interrupted movement on the road before setting fire on a taxi and a van stationed beside the road. They threatened us not to take pictures before running into the bush,” an eyewitness said.
Residents say gunhots were equally heard throughout Christmas morning in parts of Bomaka, a neighbourhood in Buea but it is still difficult to determine the casualties.
Further up in Muyuka, there were sporadic shootings between security forces and separatist making movement very difficult, forcing the few persons behind to stay indoors.
The celebrations were mixed in the North West region though sporadic gunshots were heard in Bamenda on December 24. There was however ‘relative calm’ in the city after temporal lifting of the curfew by the Governor of the region.
However, sources said there was heavy fighting in parts of the Bambalang and Babessi though it is still difficult to establish the casualties.