Horror in Bamenda!!! Here is how and what happened

– 16 killed within 3 days, Sunday’s killings targeted, and not indiscriminate shooting
– Read first-hand heart-wrenching account of tragedy

By Sah Terence Animbom

Sixteen persons have been killed within three days in two separate execution sprees by armed men in Nacho Junction and Awing Quarter in Bamenda II Sub Division, Mezam Division of the North west Region.

The most gruesome is that of Sunday, July 16, 2023 at Nacho Junction, a location around the urban peripheries of Bamenda. The incident happened at around 6:45 pm.

Peter, as we have chosen to identify him for this report tells us “some armed men, almost 20 in number, well armed with modern riffles arrived the junction with about seven persons whom they had kidnapped and ordered everyone to get down on their stomachs to the floor. Look at my arm, I still have the jacket I wore yesterday when one of the armed men smashed my arm to the ground as he stood over me with his thundering gun.”

According to Peter, other people at the junction out of intense fear fled while scaling over fences and one of the armed men attempted shooting but held his fire until they were ordered by their commander to load their guns. “My wife and child ran behind one of the buildings and were ushering me from there to join them but I couldn’t move because the armed guy had his leg on me. Many people tried to escape but were warned to all lie down there. The commander of the group said we should have no fear and that they were not there to kill us. He said they only wanted to kill the people they brought in the cars to pass across a message.” Peter recounted.

“It was at this point that I heard the commander tell the group members in a thundering voice to load and a cracking of riffles followed like in a typical action movie. In my heart, I was going to die but I was more worried about my family. Suddenly, the commander after the loading of guns did a back and forth riddling of the bodies of the seven persons pulled of their houses while some others assisted him from various positions and others shooting in the air.” He continued

According to Peter, Pa Chi, a victim we gathered should be in his mid-sixties was shot because he was hesitant to follow orders during the shooting. He had sat down instead of lying down on his stomach due to his health condition and the shooters riddled him with bullets, making him the eight person to be shot on target.

We also gathered that four other victims were picked by stray bullets. Three of them have been confirmed dead and one still in critical condition at the hospital, making the total death figure from Sunday’s incident 11 deaths.

The accounts gotten from first hand eyewitnesses prove that the killings were targeted and not indiscriminate as some social media sources insinuate. There was heavy gun shooting for over five minutes which would have left at least 50 people dead, judging from how busy the junction was at the time of the incidence. Nacho junction is a booming locality with many relaxation spots and activities that gather hundreds of people especially on weekends for meetings, fun and relaxation

Sunday’s deathsadd to five young persons that were killed during a military raid to Awing Quarter in the night of Friday, July 14, 2023. The young persons killed were between 17 and 19 years old. 16 persons have thus been killed in the same locality within three days.

We went visiting some families of the victims and had a stroll in the area to ascertain what exactly happened before the execution of all victims.

We are told that some of the five young persons killed Friday night were actually young persons living in the quarter but who indeed were trouble to the area. We were told by all inhabitants we spoke to that some of them had actually been harassing inhabitants of the area especially in the evenings when they are returning from their business places. Our sources say they were not really armed but were able to cause panic in the evenings.

Stella as we identify her for the sake of this report told us, “Before they pulled out the seven people they did from their houses in our quarter, they told them that they were the ones who called the military to come and kill the five young boys on Friday night. They told them they were also going to kill them. They went from house to house asking people who they were, where they came from and selecting some people whom they forced to enter the cars they brought.” She said.

“That is how Simplice and his wife were pulled out of their house and taken to Nacho Junction to be executed alongside other people” Stella told us as she almost break into tears.

It is important to note that all the seven victims who were shot on target according to our findings were taken out of their houses just about 120 Meters from the scene where the five young boys were killed on Friday night, a strong indication that Sunday evening’s killings were a direct consequence of the Friday night killings. Some sort of retaliation or so.

Many persons are contemplating moving away from the Awing Quarter and Nacho areas as they fear the unknown. The area is reputed for high levels of kidnap and ransom taking, given that most inhabitants here are business persons in Bamenda.

Our sources tell us that Simplice, the spouse of one of the three women that died as well as other victims had been kidnapped several times and were forced to pay ransoms for their freedom. They had thus been sure that this scenario was going to end up like the previous ones of ransom taking only to meet their unexpected and painful end Sunday evening.

One of the three women who died from Sunday evening’s execution was a few months pregnant as our sources narrated.

Families of the victims are inconsolable and neighbors have been unable to catch a glimpse of sleep since the gruesome killings. Many live in total fear and uncertainty praying for a miracle that will end the blood bath Anglophone crisis that has claimed thousands of lives for about seven years now.

As we went to press, government through the ministry of defense issued a communique accusing separatist fighters over the Sunday massacre at Nacho Junction. Curiously, the communique was silent over the killings on Friday at Awing Quarter.


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