More than 30 villagers have been killed after gunmen raided villages in Cameroon’s war-torn Anglophone region of Southwest, a religious leader and a lawmaker said Monday.
The gunmen attacked civilians who were attending a funeral in Bakinjaw village in Akwaya subdivision of the region Saturday and extended the onslaught to Sunday, Fonki Samuel Forba, the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, said in a statement.’
According to him, the gunmen were hired by the Oliti community to retaliate against an April attack by Messaga Ekol community.
“The attacks led to the burning down of houses during which some people were burnt in their houses. Over 30 people were killed including children, girls, men, women and old people. Some were beheaded. About five Nigerians were killed in this attack,” the moderator said and noted that the two communities that share borders with Nigeria have been disputing land.
“The perpetrators of this evil and wickedness should be urgently brought to justice to preempt any further escalation,” Fonki said.
Martin Aka Tyoga, a member of Parliament for Akwaya constituency, told Xinhua by phone that 37 civilians were killed in the attack that included three villages, namely Ballin, Bakinjaw and Enjawbow, which belong to Messaga Ekol community. And the hired gunmen were separatist fighters who have been clashing with government forces since 2017 in a bid to create an independent nation in Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest.
“The army pursued the attackers and killed six of them,” Tyoga said. Enditem.