Elements of the 21st Infantry Battalion of Cameroon’s military killed “General Mendo Ze” Monday, October 26, 2020, during a raid that stretched from Lysoka in Buea subdivision to Ekona in Muyuka subdivision.
“They were six of them. One of them escaped while Mendo Ze was killed along with four others,” a soldier, who claimed he was part of the operation, said.
The deceased, who pitched his tent in Maumu village, is said to have been terrorizing the entire Lysoka area since 2018.
“He would kidnap for ransom among other criminal activities. He also demanded money from bereaved families before their loved ones were buried,” said a local familiar with the story.
In July 2018, the said Mendo Ze and his gang kidnapped eight Buea chiefs, including Chief William Njie Mbanda, the traditional ruler of Lysoka Moliwe Village in Buea Subdivision, who died on Friday, July 27, 2018, while in captivity.
The outlaws accused the traditional rulers of “using mystical powers to frustrate their revolution”. At the time, the separatists claimed that the custodians of Fako tradition had “buried virgins to weaken the potency of the ‘odeshi’ charms they were using to stay invincible”.
The chiefs who were later freed include Chief Njombe Njoke Johnson of Wokaka, Chief Liteke of Maumu, Chief Kombe Paul Njie of Musaka, Chief Bernard Woloko of Woteva, Chief Herman Njumbe of Wokwe, Chief Thomas Ndoto Elinge of Ewili, and Chief Francis Molinga of Liwuh la Malale.
State forces have been battling to dislodge armed separatists who pitched their tents in the North West and South West Regions since the current crisis transformed into an armed conflict in 2017.
Corporate demands by Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone Teachers led to protests in November 2016. The street demonstrations later morphed into ongoing running gun battles between state forces and armed separatist fighters in the predominantly English-speaking regions, leading to untold destruction of human lives, their habitats, and livelihoods.
Tit-for-tat killings have become part of daily lives in some parts of the English-speaking regions.