Ambanews24 Correspondent – Bamenda
Gun battles and multiple explosions filled the City of Bamenda on Sunday, March 22, 2020, as the Cameroun government attempted a re-run of its parliamentary and municipal elections in one of Ambazonia’s most popular cities.
Three bombs exploded at intervals of about ten minutes apart in the City. Ambazonia Defense Forces then engaged in gun battles against the Cameroun army of occupation stationed in the City. The fighting that began at about 3:00 pm local time went on for over two hours.
The entire Commercial Avenue extending to the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, to Foncha Street and Ntarinkon became battlefields as both sides sent in reinforcements.
Anyone who had dared to be outside of their houses in the war-hit city, whether returning from Church or other personal engagements took to their heels for safety wherever they could find. The entire town soon became a graveyard as polling stations that had opened early in the day were vacated in the split of seconds with people running for their lives.
One resident in the battle neighbourhoods told AmbaNews24 on phone: “Bombs and guns on the same day – Jesus Christ! I do not know what we are going to die from in this town: from kidnappers claiming to be Ambaboys, from these barbaric killers called Cameroun soldiers, or from Corona,” in reference the to Covid-19 pandemic?
Another Ambazonian in the City – whose name we prefer not to mention for security reasons – asked: “Does this Cameroun government really care about us? How can the same people who have shutdown Douala and Yaounde and their borders, and are calling for social distancing be forcing us to go and mingle in filthy pooling stations in the name of voting for their parliamentarians and mayors? They have tried killing us with bullets and we are still alive. Now, they have looked for a way to kill us with Coronavirus in pooling stations. If that virus spreads in this town because of their elections, how many ventilators do they have?”
Any damages in property or loss of human lives from these bomb blasts and gun battles are still unknown currently.
Early this month, the occupying Cameroun government decreed twin elections rerun in many states in Ambazonia, including Mezam, Bui, Momo and Lebialem following very low turn out in the initial February 2020 organized parliamentary and municipal elections. The extremely low turnout virtually invalidated the results. As it were then, and in the rerun, the Ambazonia Governing Council and others fighting for the liberation, independence and sovereignty of Ambazonia ordered and enforced a lockdown of the territory to stop such elections in the territory. The Cameroun government occupies Ambazonia in colonial and annexationist style, in violation of international law, and as such has no right to organize elections in the territory to legitimize its presence in the territory.