DOUALA-Cameroon-Tuesday June 4, 2019- 11:30 AM Local Time( Cameroon News Agency) Following the tense atmosphere in Wum, Menchum division in the North West region, which has been fanned by Soldiers, putting the Mbororo community at harm’s way against the majority Christians, an Elite, Bama Etienne Cham has urged the two factions to exercise restraint and avoid being manipulated by whoever.
In a thought provoking outing, the CPDM militant, Bama Etienne Cham said it is the responsibility of every elite to call back home and asked the warring factions to restraint. He added that though the people on both sides have suffered , it is not time to put the blame game on the table.
The Economist cum politician cried out for peace to return to Wum, saying the people have lived together, eaten together, laughed together and cannot come today to tear themselves apart.
In Cham’s Words:
Situation Room: Wum (Aghem), Menchum Hear My Cry!
Shocking, unbelieveable, heart breaking, dishumanizing are the few words I can use at moment after a sleepless night. It is not about A or B but about a generation with mandate to keep the legacy of our ancestors. I know of Menchum people the qualities of tolerance, peace, togetherness, hardworking, loving and openness.
The motto of Esu (the land of peace) and Weh (the land of milk and honey) will attest to this fact. On august 21, 1986 a dark cloud hovered over part of Menchum (Nyos, Subom) taking away over 18000 souls as per official figures. The entire division mobilised and provided maize, vegetable,shelter,cloths,basic assistance and a resettlement location for our brothers and sisters survivors of the greatest disaster in the history of North West Province.
This sign of solidarity is that of Menchum people and shall forever be so. We have had farmer-grazer challenges, inter-tribal land dispute all settled with best result off administrative influence. In the second half of the 90s when I was in secondary school, I came across exceptional people like Amadou, Djibril,Umarou, etc who had resettled in this location and decided to embrace education.
They were my school and class mates and we played together, ate together, dreamed together and grew together.This bond was our strength and gave a sense of belonging in a community without segregation. We worked hard to succeed and become better citizens and i vividly remember Djibril once told me “Bama, i want to become the biggest veterinary doctor to carter for all this cattle” and I told him Djibrill I want to become a pilot to bring a helicopter to Wum.
These were our stories and I strongly believe this reality still remains part of our community. Fast forward- at the break of the current sociopolitical crisis, Menchum until recent was still the staple of peaceful coexistence till when 1 man on TV -news asked other divisions to copy the example of Menchum and Nkambe.
This was like a wake up call for chaos in this peaceful hideout. Education which was the binding force of Menchum has gone giving rise to massive exodus of youths and the birth of societal odds. Yes we are all victims of both parties to the conflict but the extend to which we are victims varies. Houses have been burnt, people murdered and assassinated, property looted and businesses before our watchful eyes gone beyond.These are the prices we are paying not as Muslims or Christians but as people victim of situation we are not responsible for.
It is true elders and elites have all deserted the community for fear of the unknown and those left behind can not make any meaningful judgement at the face of the rising challenges. I understand the reaction but I refuse to accept the justification. We have a responsibility to call our people to vigilance, our responsibility as the middle age group is most expected now than never.
There is urgent need to put on lenses and focused our regards back home. If our home is compromised we have all failed to keep the legacy and build a better society for all. Just a call back home can bring reason for peace in the mindset of our people.
How did we get there? Cutlasses?Swords?targeted killing?burning of settlement?another Rwanda?
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