Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Exclusive: UB Student Allegedly Raped is Not Dead, to Undergo Head Scan - Elder Sister Speaks

The University of Buea student who was beaten by security forces on November 28 and rumoured dead is still alive. In an exclusive interview, her elder sister, Loveline Womila, recounts how she met her injured younger one at her La Falaise Mini Cite (student off campus hostel) before rushing her to hospital. 

She dismisses as false, rumors that her sister was raped. She states that no University of Buea official or any from the South West Region has bordered about her sister who is to undergo a head scan. Excepts:  

How did you receive news about what befell your sister?
I was at my work place in Kumba and was informed that there was a strike in Buea. I immediately called my younger sister to ask where she was. She told me she was in her room (13) at La Falaise Mini Cite. I asked her to park her things and that she must leave Buea and to return when things are back to normal. Few minutes later I received a call that my sister has been beaten by police and gendarmes and that she was in need of medical assistance. I immediately traveled to Buea where I met her in her room and rushed her to hospital.

Is she really a University of Buea student? What does she read?
She is a second year student and she is reading Economics at the University of Buea. 
What did your sister tell you actually happened?
My sister told me when she regained consciences in a hospital in Buea that shortly after my call asking her to park her belongings, she began hearing what to her were gunshots.  She told me that policemen and gendarmes then came to her room. Before then, she had been joined by three other girls since there was panic and fear. She told me that forces broke her door.  

They all rushed into her toilet whose door was also broken. From there they were all beaten by the security offices who poured water on them. They were abandoned when she had sustained wounds on her heard, mouth, legs and she had pains all over her body. While in hospital she could feel a sharp pain on every part of her body when I touched her especially on her legs.

How is her health situation  as at now, November 30 2016?
She has been responding to treatment but goes unconscious from time to time. She recognizes me but I can see she is seriously traumatized and does not feel like going to her room any more. I have transferred her to a hospital in Douala where she is to receive a head scan. It is from there that we would know exactly what to do next.

We also heard she was raped? How true is that?
No she was not raped. They were seriously beaten and humiliated. She also told me that she is worried about one of her mates. She said she work up and saw only two of the three girls with whom they were beaten. That she does not know whether the student was taken away by security forces or what happened to her.

Does your sister identify the student who is ‘missing’?
She told me the name but I can’t remember. I will certainly get her name when she is a little bit stable.

Did your sister complain losing anything?
Of course. Their house was ransacked their phones money and other valuables were confiscated by the men in uniform. Her books and other school material were scattered. We can’t really evaluate what she has lost.

Has any government official or university of Buea authorities visited you since the incident? Who is footing the bills?
No one has visited us. We are struggling as her family for now to pay her bills.

What would you tell students, parents, authorities and the university administration if you were to meet them?

To students, for protective reasons, they should rush to close family members that are away from school area whenever they of such a thing like strike. I think the University authorities should not neglect or ignore student’s opinion. Give them a listening ear and react promptly to their concerns.

NB: We conceal the identity of the victim to avoid any form of victimisation or stigma. We do not rule out possibility of having other alleged victims of rape. 

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