Anglophone Crisis: Mamfe-based Pastor, Ekah Ekah goes missing as government battles separatists

Pastor Ekah Ekah in military dragnet in 2017

Since the arrest and extradition of some separatist leaders from Abuja to Yaounde, there have been raging gun battles in Cameroon’s North-West and South-West Regions. 

Kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, force disappearances, extra-judicial killings and generalised insecurity has become the order of   the day, says human rights lawyer Felix Agbor Nkongho. 

Ekah Ekah, a Pentecostal pastor in Mamfe, a town in southwestern Cameroon is among the many missing as uncertainty grips Cameroon’s English-speaking regions. No fewer than 6,000 people to have been killed amid a bitter secessionist war that has been raging for six years in the Central African country.
Hundreds of thousands more have been forced from their homes since violence broke out in 2017 between security forces and Anglophone separatists who say they face discrimination in the majority French-speaking nation.

Pastor Ekah and his friend, Oru Thomas are known to gave gone missing after taking part in a pro-activist rally in December 2016 organised by diehard opposition leader, Ni John Fru Ndi of the social democratic front, SDF party. 

We gathered that after returning to Mamfe, after taking part in the strike in Buea, Pastor Ekah Ekah and Oru Thomas were arrested by security forces. They were accused of rebelling against father land”, tortured and detained under inhuman conditions.
However, it was later reported that Pastor Ekah Ekah escaped from detention under circumstances that remain shrouded in uncertainty. He is alleged to have escaped to Nigeria, though we could not independently confirm this.
Pastor Ekah Ekah has since then been declared wanted as security and defence forces have launched a manhunt for him. If arrested, he will be tried in a military tribunal, under the anti-terrorism law, whose maximum punishment is the death sentence. That is if he is not killed outright, like many others who have suffered extrajudicial killing.

Ntemgwa Constance Ngossong is among the many shortlisted for arrest and sometimes extra-judicial killing. 
Family sources say Ntemgwa Constance Ngossong was apprehended and detained in Kumba, Meme Division South West Region on September 22, 2017. This was while returning from work following a peaceful demonstration that took place across the North West and South West regions. The protesters were calling for peace and dialogue in the worsening crisis that has rocked the two English-speaking regions.
Last month, Nana Ngongang Roger, Commissioner of the Second District Police Station in Buea announced that a detainee by name Ntemgwa Constance had jumped bail.

Arrested in Kumba during the September 2017 mass protests, and held incommunicado for months at a detention facility in Buea, Ntemgwa was denied access to family, counsel, doctor and pastor.
After behind the door negotiations, he was granted bail. 

The local police boss announced a manhunt for Ntemgwa who has since failed to report daily to the police post with his whereabouts unknown.

Ntemgwa is among many anglophones who face life imprisonment or death should they be arrested.

What started as peaceful protests in October 2016 by professionals protesting about discrimination against English-speaking Cameroonians escalated into a bloody conflict when government military forces cracked down.

Government forces and separatist groups across Cameroon's two Anglophone regions are now carrying out atrocities, including burning down entire villages and targeting any institution that represents the state, including schools and hospitals, Amnesty International researcher Fabien Offner says.

"It's definitely one of the worst human rights situations we are covering in the African continent," Mr Offner adds.

"Everyone is running for their lives," human rights lawyers concur. "Those who are very poor don't know where to go, they don't have money to run away.”



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