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Buea-Kumba Road Block Leaves Hundreds Of Travelers Stranded 

By Isidore Abah

Commuters who left Yaounde, Douala and Bamenda, heading to Kumba, since Friday, June 15, have been left stranded at the Mile 17 Motor Park, following the complete lock down of the Kumba-Buea Highway.

It is a similar situation in Kumba, where travellers who were either heading to Buea, Douala or Yaounde, have been grounded at the Motor Park for over 72 hours since news of the road barricade broke.

According to information The Post gathered, since Friday, June 15, the Kumba-Buea Road has been blocked by elements of the Ambazonia Defence Force, ADF, as they try to assert their authority in the area.

Some of the commuters, who have no relatives in Buea, arriving the metropolis are forced to spend the night at the Motor Park, while those who have friends, relatives and tribespersons residing in the Southwest Regional capital are presently squatting with them pending re-establishment of traffic on the Buea-Kumba Highway.

Speaking to The Post, a commuter, who refused to be named, recounted the ordeal he faced on Friday, June 15, as he attempted to defy the warnings and proceed to Kumba.

“We left Buea that Friday morning in a bus. Despite the warnings we received that we shouldn’t proceed to Kumba because the road was heavily barricaded, we couldn’t stop because most of the people in the bus had very important appointments in Kumba to honour. Our drive from Buea to Muyuka was peaceful, but when we got to Malende, a young boy of about 12-years-old ran out of the bush with a very long gun when he heard our bus approaching. A few metres to the boy, he ran back into the bush.

However, 10 metres after the incident, we met a group of heavily armed young men who stopped our car. Before ordering the driver to halt, the boys fired several shots in the air and then demanded for our national identity cards. After going through what I later learnt was a routine check, we were asked to proceed, after the driver had handed them an FCFA 2,000 banknote to them. From Malende to Kumba, the journey was scary, as repeated gunshots and sporadic control of ID cards by non-uniform officers characterised our journey,” our source recounted.

Things degenerated on the Buea-Kumba Highway on Saturday, June 16, when the gunmen forced all the trucks transporting sand and quarry from Muyuka to other towns in Cameroon to empty their contents on the road.
Within the twinkling of an eye, the road was covered by sand making the passage of cars practically impossible.

Military Caterpillars Dispatched To Clear Highway

Informed by the situation on the highway, some military officers were dispatched with some caterpillars to the area to clear the highway. But as at Sunday, June 17, the passengers’ cars bound for Kumba were still grounded at the Mile 17 Motor Park. The only cars that were spotted heading towards Kumba were military trucks.

Driver Slain In Kumba

Meanwhile, The Post gathered that a driver plying the Kumba-Ekondo Titi Road was slain over the weekend by some gunmen suspected to be elements of the Ambazonia Defence Forces.

The Driver’s neighbour told The Post that the man was accused of betraying the ADF to the security forces.
According to our source, “The driver has been transporting both ADF forces and Cameroon military forces.

So, on Friday, he carried some ADF elements and was heading towards Ekondo Titi, the gendarmerie officers whom he reportedly transported the previous day from Kumba to Ekondo Titi called him, asking him to come and carry them back to Kumba.

Unfortunately, for him, the ADF elements that he was transporting to Ekondo Titi overheard their discussion and accused the driver of betraying them. Before the driver could even explain, one of them pulled out a gun and shot the driver dead,” the driver’s neighbour recounted.

The Kumba-Buea Highway has been a very volatile area since the Anglophone Crisis took a bloody twist. There are rampant skirmishes on the highway between security forces and elements of the ADF on daily bases. Many Cameroonians are hoping that a lasting solution to the Crisis will be sought in a bid to put an end to the incessant killings of Cameroonians.

Cameroon Military, ADF Clash In Ekona

Meanwhile, as we went to press, there were reports of a fierce gun battle between the security forces and ADF elements in Ekona. According to information gathered, the military reportedly stormed the ADF fief in Ekona neutralising some militants of the separatist forces. It also emerged that during the military raid, some houses were set on fire.

The move by the military came 72 hours after the separatist forces blocked the major high, restricting movement between Buea and Kumba