While the rest of the world celebrated love on February 14th, the people of Ngarbuh village in Donga Mantung Division of the Northwest Region of Cameroon were faced with the death of several families. It is, therefore, no surprise that the killings in Ngarbuh dominated discussions on social media platforms. Prior to the initial reports that came in publications like Cameroon News Agency, National Telegraph’s Facebook Page reported that the Cameroon military had killed over 20 persons in Ngarbuh. The story went viral on Facebook and on Twitter after other personal accounts picked it up. The incident aroused sympathy for the families who had lost members of their households. Most social media users castigated the military and made references to the former Minister of Communication who had praised the military qualifying them as being professional for the excesses Pro-independence Fighters are accusing them of.
In reacting to the figures posted on social media, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of defence in a communiqué later dismissed the allegations that the military is targeting and killing the population of Ngarbuh. He also dismissed the toll which was circulating on social media as being false. Joseph Beti Assomo said it was an accident following an explosion in the midst of a gun battle between soldiers and Ambazonia fighters. He stated that the death in Ngarbuh stood at 5, one woman and four children.
There has been controversy over the culprits and death toll which has made many like, Barrister Akere Muna a prominent English Politician, Barrister Agbor Balla a Human Rights Lawyer, Prof. Maurice Kamto a Politician, Muslim Scholar Abdul Karim, Jerry John Rawlings former Ghanaian President, Tibor Peter Naggy Jr. United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs to name but these, to take their turns on social media to condemn the act and call on both parties to stop the killings going on in Anglophone Cameroon. The Bishop of the Kumbo Diocese, Bishop George Nkuo in a communiqué he signed called for a Day of Prayer for the victims of the Ngarbuh-Ntumbaw kills.
Mothers of the Nation headed by female politician Kah Walla have also decried the killings and urged both parties to engage in a cease-fire for a peaceful atmosphere to reign in the Anglophone Regions. They have used their social media platform to preach non-violent actions in ending the war and killings. They have called upon women to wear black on the International Women’s Day March scheduled for March 8th to decry the killings in the Northwest and Southwest Killings.
#DefyHateNow questions of the week: Do you think condemning such acts on social media makes a difference in stopping them? If not, what more can be done?