A CAMEROONIAN KILLS HIS CHILD

By Celestin Ngoa Balla, US Africa News. Updated 2014-07-17

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A CAMEROONIAN KILLS HIS CHILD
BOUJEKE KENMOE

Abandoned by his girlfriend, he said to have sunk into depression. He is charged with second-degree murder for choking, slashing 8-year-old son.

 

Boujeke Kenmoe made his confession without praying. On June 29th, the 43-year-old Cameroonian living in New York killed his eight-year-old son with his own hands. Afterwards he attempted suicide by cutting veins in each of his arms. At the time of our publication, he was still in the hospital where he was taken after calling 911. According to information in the New York media who made headlines out of this business for a good week, Kenmoe confessed to his crime inside the ambulance transporting him to the hospital. Not without attempting to explain himself by evoking his state of depression caused by the departure, two days earlier, of the little boy’s mother. Though he remains very closely guarded, though still in his hospital bed, Boujeke Kenmoe has not yet succumbed under the weight of his actions. And the police have not yet divulged any elements detailing the circumstances of this tragedy that has saddened the Cameroonian community in New York.

It was in 1997 that Boujeke Kenmoe arrived in the US and took up residence in the State of Connecticut. It seemed that the warrior was finally at rest. For, upon entry into Faculty of Science at the University of Yaoundé in 1991, the young man had joined the ranks of theCameroon Students' Parliament, a group embarked on a fierce struggle for years with the Government, demanding reforms. During the two years he spent at the University of Yaoundé, Kenmoe boycotted exams as the members of the Parliament resolved together to agitate for the benefit of Cameroonian students. Cameroonian President Paul Biya, employing the police and the army, sent a military force to Ngoa EkéléUniversity campus, along with his trusted men, like Titus Edjoa and Joseph Owona. The result was a steamrollering which triumphed over the Parliament. It was no longer only the campus that became unbearable for Kenmoe and all the others Parliamentarians. They had to flee from Cameroon.

Burkina Faso became home to the fugitives. Here, the Parliament was weakened by internecine wars, and tribal and leadership struggles. Djeukam Tchameni who headed the Foo Graphis, the Bamileke [ethnic group from NW Cameroon] faction of the Parliament, expelled, in military fashion, nine of his former fighting comrades whom he suspected of being traitors, as they were not of Bamileke origin. Kenmoe protested and left the Foo Graphis, of which he was a founding member. And he was among those who fought to ensure that Burkina Faso granted clemency to the deportees. Reunited once again, the Ngoa Ekele Parliamentarians became engaged in activism which set off alarms when [Burkina Faso President] Blaise Compaoré launched a move to extend his power by murdering his best friend Thomas Sankara. Placed at the time under the protection of the High Commissioner for Refugees, they were out of reach of physical threat of the Ouagadougou dictator, who however found a way to force them out by claiming "infringement of the State security," discharging to other countries in West Africa, Thus, Kenmoe found himself in Senegal in 1995, but stayed there only two years, when the members of Parliament became persona non grata in all countries of West Africa. UNHCR was obliged to send them outside the continent.

It Connecticut, he moved in with Richard Pedji, a compatriot with whom he became acquainted in Dakar, and who had also managed to travel to the US. It was through this fellow emigré that he met the woman who would become his wife and the mother of the son that he just killed with his own hands. All the arrangements were done through photos and correspondence. In 2005, Kenmoe made a visit to Cameroon to marry Orlie Siakam. She joined him on US soil two years later, and the couple took up residence in Queens. They were said to be greatly in love--the perfect, ideal, happy couple. Then one day, everything fell apart. Kenmoe discovered that, while believing himself to be part of a beautiful love story, his wife was chatting over the Internet with a "hot guy" back in Cameroon. Their correspondence was irrefutable proof that lead the judge to quickly grant the divorce request in 2010. Kenmoe did poorly during this separation. A year after the divorce, he brought the mother of his child back under his roof. The couple shared the same bed, but did not head back to City Hall. But Kenmoe did not get over his heartache. According to relatives, he abandoned his work and American soil to lick his wounds somewhere in West Africa. The same sources indicate that he agreed to return to New York when his companion, who had her hands full, announced her intention to send their child live in Cameroon.

On his return, he took care of his son, as he had always done, and which had attracted so much admiration in the neighborhood. On June 27, his ex-wife bade him a farewell that this time was meant to be final. It is expected that the police investigation will uncover the reasons and circumstances of this new separation. According to relatives that Kenmoe visited on June 28th in the company of his son, he was relieved and happy at this separation. Yet the day after, it turned to horror.

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