Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

The Republic of Cameroon in turmoil (the anglophone crisis)

28.09.2018
‘’When anger is directed towards a group of people, then it can manifest in terrorism, whether against people of other faiths or nations, or against one’s own government’’. This greatly defines the situation in Cameroon. Fear and grief have become the order of the day in the two predominantly English-speaking regions of the central African Country. The end to the turmoil remains farfetched.

What started as a peaceful March in 2016 by common law lawyers and teachers seeking for reforms, took another dimension when their demands were not met by the government, instead security forces retaliated. The blood battle mainly between government forces and the so called ambazonia boys have had devastating effects; many people have lost their lives both on the side of the Military and the extremist group. Civilian deaths remain alarming as well. The turmoil has been ongoing since 2016, and efforts by the government of Cameroon to resolve the insurrection have not yielded positive fruits. Government officials from Yaoundé, the political capital of Cameroon made very unsuccessful missions to both the south west and North West regions of the country. Some pundits have blamed Cameroon’s national assembly for not addressing the Anglophone crisis. The so called ambazonian fighters, who claim to be seeking for independence from ‘’La Republic du Cameroon’’ have remained very defiant. One can’t independently give correct statistic as to how many people have died, both on the side of the military and the separatists, however, a report released in September 2018 by Amnesty International reported of 400 civilian killed. In all, the Menka-Pinyin killings of May 25 this year which was very alarming attracted reactions from both national and international level. About 27 dead bodies were found around a motel in the Santa Sub-Region –Mezam Division of the North WEST Region of Cameroon. Reacting to this, Military spokesperson Didier Badjeck acknowledged that the youths were terrorists who were involved in a gun battle with the military before they were killed.  SDF strongman Ni John Fru visited the scene to ascertain the situation, after which he dubbed the tragedy the Menka Massacre and categorically accused the Biya Regime of being behind the killings. However, Cameroon refuted government’s involvement in the killings. Having classified these as crimes against Humanity, the Social Democratic Front SDF chairman Ni John Fru Ndi urged the presence of the International Criminal Court ICC to the regions in turmoil and to bring the violators of human rights to book. The international community could not be indifferent to the escating violence in the predominantly English speaking regions of the central African country. Reacting to the flare, Amnesty International in one if its releases blamed both the military and the separatist for the continuing fighting. The rights group asserted that Cameroon government’s military response in the two English speaking regions of the country, has inflamed the crisis. Notwithstanding, leader of the so called separatist movement sisiku ayuk Tabe have been apprehended and remains under government’s surveillance.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS

The now two years civil unrest turned political crisis, have had enormous damages including burning of government properties, schools, house and personal properties, deaths, imprisonment of youths, insecurity due to numerous cases of abductions. The crisis has affected the gov’t revenue, partly because commercial or economic activities have come to a standstill in the shaky regions. Thousands of civilians have also been displaced as they seek refuge in neighboring countries including Nigeria, others have equally moved into the French Speaking regions of the country. In a nutshell, even though there is uncertainty as to when the crisis would end, the nation is gearing up for a landmark presidential vote, slated for October 7, 2018. Campaigns are underway.

Article de la rédaction AFRIC

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