PINYIN, CAMEROON - English-speaking Cameroonians are burying 30 members of their community who were killed Thursday in the northwestern town of Pinyin. The government has not issued a statement but residents say the military stormed a local hotel, claiming some people had been taken hostage by suspected armed separatists fighting for the Independence of the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. The residents say the military then killed everyone they saw.
Hundreds mourn their dead and seek to identify corpses being removed by villagers from a local inn in Cameroon's northwestern town of Pinyin. Among them is 54-year-old Angelica Muluh who has just identified the body of her 24-year- old son.
She said she does not understand what has befallen them that their children are being killed like flies. She said she has allowed everything into the hands of God who alone will judge and punish all evil doers, but that she knows her son did not commit any crime to be killed at his young age.
Achiri Jonas, an elder in Menka, one of the villages that make up Pinyin, said the 27 corpses they have counted should be buried immediately so they do not decompose and cause health problems to the villagers.
"These corpses have to be transferred to their various homes. Both girls and boys," said Jonas.
Some residents said on Thursday, May 23, a group of five boys forcefully occupied the Star inn in Menka, claiming to be fighting for the independence of the English-speaking from the French- speaking regions of Cameroon and started kidnapping people, stealing, extorting, looting and harassing locals. They said Cameroon military invaded the premises and gunned down every one they saw.
In a news release circulated on social media, Cameroon military spokesperson Colonel Didier Badjeck said the people he describes as terrorists were killed after they had engaged in a fire fight with the military.
Violence broke out in the English-speaking north west and south west regions of Cameroon in November 2016 when a strike by English-speaking lawyers and teachers against what they described a marginalization by the French-speaking majority in the bilingual country degenerated into calls for secession. In November 2017, president Paul Biya declared war on the separatists calling them terrorists.