By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Thursday, August 13, 2020.
A teen was shot and killed by pro-one Cameroon soldiers late Wednesday August 12, 2020, locales in Tiko, an unruly town in the country’s South West said she was snail-hunting when the incident occurred.
Bessem Enow, 16, was a form three student in a government-run school – GHS Motombolombo – Tiko, her school mates confirmed to National Telegraph in grief.
Enow was hunting snails right behind her residence at about 9:30PM GMT+1 with two of her neighbours, one of whom was shot in the hand, family sources described her death as unbelievable.
Enow’s family said it was shocked after discovering its daughter’s corpse killed right within the perimeters of her own home. Snail-hunting is a routine by children in our precinct and it’s unbelievable our daughter lost her life doing it, family said.
Residents who gathered at the city’s major hospital where the other injured teen was being treated said the parents of the deceased were intimidated by the military as they sourced information about the whereabouts of their daughter.
Sources say it is easy to recollect the details of the incident described as terrible. The military stormed the Ebanjah neighbourhood and opened fire at the three teens who were hunting snails behind their homes after a lead from an unknown person who spotted them with torchlights and mistook them for rebels.
Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions of the North West and South West are since 2017 entrenched in an armed conflict that has claimed nearly 16.000 lives.
In 2016, teachers and lawyers started a strike demanding better working conditions, respect for the Common Law and the Anglo-Saxon curricular.
Calls for these and other social grievances to be addressed were ignored by the Cameroon government and the crisis soon metamorphosed into an armed conflict with the formation of armed groups fighting for a new state called Ambazonia.