By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
The desire to bury loved ones who have died, by families in the restive Northwest and Southwest Regions for some time now, has been very challenging.
Those who have to travel long distances have ended up not reaching their final destinations due to road blocks.
In the Northwest Region, the situation is worrisome. Death that always had its secrets in its way is now a normal phenomenon. Seeing and touching death bodies are something very usual today, even for children.
Another worrying and scaring issue is the fact that coffins are transported on motor bikes, given that most roads, especially in the rural areas, are unpassable. The ambiance that used to characterize any burial ceremony has been watered down by insecurity.
“I am just so disappointed that I could not give my father a befitting burial because of what is happening. We had to pay ransom for things to go on but what kept me wondering and thinking aloud is the way the coffin was transported,” a Kumbo resident said.
To a woman who expressed her thoughts in tears: “I don’t know what to say because I am still in pains. We lost our grandmother and she was buried just like that. It was supposed to a big occasion, celebrating the life of a mother who has achieved a lot. She was transported on a bike, Oh! Oh! Oh! Too bad.”
The situation of persons living in the Anglophone regions especially in the rural communities is degrading. With little or nothing to bury their loved ones, they are still forced by separatists to pay ransoms. While transporting coffins on bikes, families are still being asked to settle control.
Since the outbreak of the crisis in 2016, the ongoing fight has claimed over 6,000 lives, forcing more than one million to flee to French-speaking areas while others have fled to next-door Nigeria and are living as refugees. On the other hand, many have disappeared with no traces.