At a popular intersection in the violent northwest city of Bamenda, gunmen shot and murdered 10 people while injuring another two, according to the regional governor on Monday.
According to a witness, the attackers arrived in vehicles late on Sunday, ordered everyone to get on the ground, accused them of not supporting local separatists, and then started shooting as some did as instructed and others fled.
The largest separatist organization in the English-speaking region, the Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF), which has been fighting since 2017 in opposition to what it claims to be government marginalization by the majority French-speaking population, denied responsibility.
Adolphe Lele Lafrique, the governor of the North West region, told the Reuters news agency that a manhunt had been started for the “terrorists” responsible for the killing. Investigations are ongoing, and a statement would be released later today, he continued.
At around 7:30 p.m. (18:30 GMT), according to the witness, individuals dressed in military uniforms drove up in two vehicles and stormed Nacho Junction, where there are bars, restaurants, and shops.
The witness claimed that they fired randomly at persons before fleeing.
According to ADF spokesperson Lucas Asu, “there is [the] possibility that it could be revenge killing,” implying that the attackers may have been posing as separatist militants.
Disparities between the academic, judicial, and administrative systems of France and England that have traditionally coexisted alongside complaints of political and economic marginalization culminated in a series of protests and riots in 2016.
More than 6,000 people have died in Anglophone Cameroon since the violence that followed the harsh repression of those rallies.
Amnesty International condemned government forces, militias, and separatists earlier this month for atrocities committed in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions, including murders, rapes, torture, and house burnings.