Neh knew she was taking a risk when she got involved with English-language activists in mostly-Francophone Cameroon.
She had no way of know that her decision would eventually force her to flee her country, fly halfway across the world and then set out on a 4,000-mile trek through dense jungle and across seven borders – only to leave her stranded in southern Mexico, where her hopes of finding safety in the US were blocked by the Mexican government’s efforts to placate Donald Trump’s anti-migrant rage.
“It is just too much,” sobbed Neh,at a protest camp set up by migrants from across Africa outside the main immigration offices in the sweltering southern city of Tapachula. “We thought our suffering was almost over. And now we’re stuck here, treated like the lowest citizens on earth.”
Not that long ago, Neh worked as a microfinance officer and lived with her husband and three children in a small town in the West of Cameroon.
Earlier this year, she joined a group campaigning for anglophone independence. She insists her activism was peaceful and that she never supported rebel groups, but amid spiralling violence, she was arrested, beaten, and raped by soldiers. One night, an officer took her from her cell and told her to start running. She imagined she was about to die – but instead she ran into the arms of her husband who had paid a bribe for her freedom.