By Augustine Nyuykongi
Cameroon’s Military Tribunal on Wednesday handed death sentences to four persons for orchestrating the attack on the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, Kumba in October 2020.
Yemeli Longtsi Gilda, Konte Patrick, Angu Emmanuel, Elangwe Kelvin Eyabe were sentenced yesterday by the Buea Military Tribunal, to death by a firing squad. They stood trial for over 1 year on acts of terrorism, hostility against the father land, secession, insurrection, murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
The accused have been given approximately 10 days to appeal the sentence that has been given to them.
The shocking attack which has left a deep and painful blow to the English Speaking minority in Cameroon, caused the deaths of 7 students of the school and left 13 others with critical injuries. Investigations after the attack, led to the arrest of several suspects for the massacre, including the proprietor of the school.
Reacting to the military tribunal’s verdict, Prince Eko Ekosso, national President for the USDP party disagreed with the verdict, saying “…Let me first start by sentencing to death by shooting, all those who have embezzled billions of FCFA and have virtually killed 80-90% of the country’s Population, most of whom are youths.”
The politician questioned the trial process which according to him was compromised. To him, no substantial evidence has been presented against the accused so far. He claims that the 4 accused individuals were randomly handpicked and marked for trial and sentencing.
“…it is also alleged that one of the suspects is a young man who has left Kumba to Souza due to the crisis and only came back to pick up some of his few items,” he said on social media.
The October 2020, Kumba massacre and the February 14, 2020 Ngarbuh massacres in the restive English speaking regions of Cameroon left the country and the international community in shock. Like similar attacks, both warring parties in the North West and South West Regions lay blame on each other for violence that has caused the deaths of at least 4000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands, according to international organisations.