Cameroon Dangles Unsavoury Bait To Ambazonians
A bloody conflict pitting Cameroun government forces and restorationist forces of Ambazonia is in its eighth month. Cameroun government has come up with a humanitarian assistance package to placate the suffering internally displaced populations and refugees from the Northwest and Southwest regions of the Cameroons.
The conflict begun in November 2016 with lawyers and teachers putting forward demands, which if addressed in timely manner and appropriately would have prevented the present bloody conflict. Instead, Cameroun government chose strong arm methods to quell the civilian demands of the populations. There were kidnappings, imprisonment without trial, mass rape, killings and scorched earth policy with the burning down of whole villages.
Restorationists retaliated fistfully, inflicting fatal blows and the fabric of government security groups. Scores of military and paramilitary have been killed.
Government forces, radicalized their actions. Unarmed civilians were slaughtered by Cameroun troops, with such savagery that should be the handiwork of a terrorist movement.
While restorationists take on government troops and administrators, perceived as architects of mismanagement and brutality, Cameroun government attacks everyone in targeted Anglophone villages as terrorists to be wiped out.
All Anglophones are presented to the world as terrorists, as such, restorationists claim they have only been defending their kindred targeted for genocide by Cameroon.
Government still believes they would be able to crush the restorationists, yet they dangle unsavoury baits to the suffering masses of the Northwest and Southwest regions of the Cameroons. The leadership of Ambazonia is warning people not to accept such GIFTS and has gone ahead to threaten to attack bearers of such GIFTS.
Violence has been equalized in the Cameroons with both sides of the conflict excelling in savagery. The restorationists are feeling embolden with their early gains on the warfront. They have succeeded the violent State military unleashing untold brutality on unarmed civilians.
Balance of power has been established, with government coming down from its high horse to entertain the possibility of dialogue on a peaceful resolution. Hawks among government, who were earlier opposed to any discussion on the form of the State are now ready to talk about federalism.
Restorationists say a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and they would stop at nothing short of independence.
In this conundrum, government came us with a plan to raise 12.7 billions Francs CFA for reconstruction, medical care and food supply to the displaced Ambazonians.
Yet The Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Nai Atanga is calling the fired up Ambazonian Defence Forces to lay down their arms and surrender. As he touts the restorationists, they intensify their attacks against soldiers and administrators on the field.
Government's narrative must change if they are seriously seeking an honourable way out of the conflict. The war is unwinnable, and if government does not change its approach the troops would be doomed to meet the Waterloo restorationists have prepared for them.
While government troops are afraid of dying, the restorationists are ready to die for independence of Ambazonia. In this dilemma, government should withdraw its troops from the conflict zone and act as if they are conceding. They should help the restorationists to organize themselves to secure the Northwest and Southwest regions.
Failure would only attract the restorationists to cross their perceived borders to wreck havoc in the other eight regions of the Cameroons.
Fon Christopher Achobang
Social Commentator, Human rights activist