“If I don’t see my brother again, they themselves shall not see the light of day. This is not the Anglophone course”.
The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) Party in Cameroon was reacting after kidnappers took his brother and two workers into captivity.
Taken in the night of Saturday April 20th around Fru Ndi’s cattle range in Bafut Mezam Division of the North West Region of Cameroon, Kingsley Azeh (brother to Ni John Fru Ndi) and two other workers were in search of stolen cows when they were abducted by unknown individuals. Ni John Fru Ndi has stated. “The boys are demanding me to pay six million francs cfa or provide five guns as ransom», he adds. He states that the kidnappers are accusing him of having commissioned elements of the rapid intervention battalion (BIR) to fight them when his residence got burnt months ago. To Ni John Fru Ndi: “people in high government positions in Cameroon have created and are sponsoring parallel ambazonia fighters that are there to attack, kill and destroy innocent civilians”. Provoked by the kidnapping of his brother and two workers, Ni John says the activities of the parallel Ambazonia group are contrary to the ambazonia course. “I call on the real ambazonia fighters to be focus and identify armed robbers hired by some members of government to kill the population”.
Material loses: “In the past six months, I have lost more than one hundred cows. I had forty cows in Babanki village but today just less than eleven are left». According to Ni John Fru Ndi, the cows have been stolen by bandits who present themselves as Ambazonia fighters. He mentioned his houses set ablaze in his village by persons he suspects are fake fighters sponsored by personalities in power. Ni John Fru Ndi judging from what he called ‘continuous atrocities’ committed against innocent population by ‘fake amba boys’ warns that famine might soon befall the troubled Anglophone regions of Cameroon. He laments that the planting season is almost over in Bamenda and other places in the North West with women not given the possibility to cultivate crops as insecurity has become the order of the day.
It is over 2 years now since ghost town phenomenon started in the two restive Anglophone regions, since 2 years, the Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge, waged a ferocious fight against the civil disobedience without success. The Mayor has lamented that the enemies are very close to him, reasons why all efforts have proven futile.
Mr Ekema Patrick said that some in-house persons are involved concluding that not everyone within is for development, ” We have defended so well…some of our people, some of our brothers and sisters will galvanize resources to look for prolific players from a negative end to score goals. But we will remain vigilant to prevent goals from entering our net.” The Mayor told reporters in Buea.
It is over one year since Mr Ekema Patrick promised denizens that ghost town was going to be history. In a move to eliminate the phenomenon, he has carried out several campaigns including sealing of shops, impounding commercial vehicles(Taxis) to no avail.
Ambazonia Separatist fighters have for the past two year been reinforcing ghost towns every Monday Since January 9, 2017, with gunshots and threats of burning shops and cars.
They have on many occasions orchestrated the burning of cars especially around Bunduma in Buea and burning of shops in Mile 17.
Buea, capital of South West region has been worst hit after Bamenda town. A recent lock-down to sabotage the just ended Festival of Arts and Culture in Limbe, affected more than the targeted town.
PRETORIA – Activists fighting for the independent state of Ambazonia (Anglophone Cameroon) have vowed to continue their quest for freedom and the right to self-determination in the face of reprisals from President Pau Biya’s government, which has respondent with heavy-handedness and killed thousands since 2017.
The activists said this Friday, as they staged a protest at the Nigerian Embassy in Pretoria, where they called on the West African nation to – partly, intervene to stop a genocide being meted on their fellow activists by Biya’s security forces, which have so far killed an estimated more than 5,000, displaced more than 800,000 and destroyed infrastructure since 2017, when Anglophone Cameroon declared its independence and announced an interim government.
Estimates are that more than 300,000 people from Cameroon’s troubled Anglophone region now live as refugees in Nigeria and the activists wanted guarantees for the safety of those refugees.
Safety for Cameroonian political refugees was breached on January 5 2019, when 10 Ambazonian leaders, including their leader, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, were seized at gunpoint by Nigerian Security officials and eventually deported back to Cameroon, in utter disregard for the international law and principles guiding political prisoners and other asylum seekers.
The leaders were held incommunicado between the Nigerian and Cameroon government for six months, allegedly in deplorable conditions where they were denied access to family or legal representatives, in violation of the international Human Rights Law of the 1951 United Nations Convention (Article 33) on refugees and 1967 protocol, as well as the African Charter for Human Rights to which both Nigeria and Cameroon are signatories.
The 10 were charged with 10 counts under Cameroon’s anti-terrorism law and if convicted, they could face the death penalty over what they argue is their struggle for an independent state they call Ambazonia.
On March 1 this year, the Federal High Court of Nigeria ruled in Abuja that the abduction and subsequent deportation of 10 leaders and 39 youths from the former British colony of South Cameroon, who had sought refuge in the West African country, was illegal.
The activists said Friday’s protest was partly meant to request the Nigerian government to adhere to and fully implement the court judgment.
“The Judgment of the Federal High Court of Abuja was testimony of the fairness of the Nigerian Judiciary system,” said Patrick Ayuk, Director of the Sam Soya Centre for Democracy and Human Rights.
“While we greatly appreciate it, we are now calling on the executive arm of the Nigerian Government to heed the Judgment and ensure that all the 51 persons listed are freed and compensated as indicated in the ruling.”
The activists solicited the urgent intervention of the Nigerian government to prove to the world that it respected the rulings of its own courts and thereby immediately engage French Cameroon to have all 51 detainees, including members of the Ambazonian Interim Government and other asylum seekers abducted in Nigeria and unlawfully deported back to Cameroon to be sent back to Nigeria and compensated as stipulated in the Court Ruling of March 1.
Other demands were that Nigeria should call on the government of Cameroon to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its “armed terrorist forces of occupation and colonial administrators from the territory of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia (the Southern Cameroons) by respecting the Section 40 and Article 20 of the Africa Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) which give a people their unquestionable and inalienable right to Self Determination, an Act violated by the Nigerian Government when it deported our people back to French Cameroun as cited in the Abuja Court Ruling of 1st March 2019.”
”Nigeria should also create the opportunity for constructive dialogue in the presence of credible third parties, including the UK, the United Nations and the African Union to address the root cause of the problems, intervene to stop the Genocide currently meted on the Ambazonian people, continue to assist refugees from Southern Cameroons, by providing them with a safe haven and other much needed assistance in Nigeria and honour its vote of Independence that it accorded British Southern Cameroons on 30th April 1960,” read a statement from the protestors.
The Social Democratic Front, SDF says some members of the Biya regime are sponsoring armed groups in the North West and South West regions of the country.
Meeting at the weekend in Yaounde, the National Executive Committee of the party condemned the recent wave of violence in the Anglophone regions.
The attack on the convoys of the Governors of the North West and South West regions, the burning of the Kumba Hospital, as well as attacks on students and kidnap of civilians were some of the atrocities in the past months that drew the attention of the party as they condemned such acts.
However, the party said such acts carried out by armed groups which might be sponsored by some members of the Biya regime, for their selfish interests.
The SDF criticised the authorities, who are protected by security forces, for forcing civilians without protection to risk their lives to carry out civic duties like voting despite the insecurity in these regions.
The party condemned all forms of violence no matter its origin and once again called for a ceasefire and dialogue as the only way out of the crisis.
The leaders of Ambazonia abducted and illegally deported from Nigeria to Cameroon, have said faced with their current trial, they have only two choices; Independence or resistance to the last man standing. This decision is contained in a letter signed by the leaders currently locked up at the Kondengui prison in Yaounde.
In the letter obtained by CNA, the leaders of the former territory of British Southern Cameroons, now preferred Ambazonia, seeking a break-away from Cameroon, said they are tired of being tossed from one place to another by whom they described as colonizers.
They promised that the State of Ambazonia will be unique, free and will have concern for the weak, the less privilege, women, children among others.
They apologised for not being there to stop the massacre perpetrated by Cameroon Soldiers but promised that they will rebuild their nation , eliminate tribalism and encourage good governance.
The letter comes few days to a crucial court session on March 7, 2019 when the kidnapped leaders are expected at the military court in Yaounde.
It also comes barely days after the Nigerian Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Nigerian Government to bring back the leaders from Cameroon.
The court ruled that, their kidnap and deportation did not respect international laws because the deportees were duly registered or in the process of having refugee status.
“The Ambazonia Freedom Protocol:” defines the nature and values of the society the Ambazonia movement envisions to a global audience. The anonymous person who leaked the document pointed to the fact that it also contains the minimum acceptable terms for any negotiations to end the conflict between Cameroon and the former UN trust territory of Southern Cameroons under UK administration now christened Ambazonia, after the 1st of October 2017 declaration of the restoration of their statehood by the leader Sisiku Ayuktabe.
The Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria has ordered the Nigerian government to return the 12 Ambazonia leaders who were arrested and deported to Cameroon in January 2017.
The High Court ruled on Friday that Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and the others should be rehabilitated and compensated five million Naira each.
The ruling came after a team led by Nigerian human rights lawyers Barrister Abdul Oroh and Femi Falana filed for their return.
In the second case against other 57 persons deported to Cameroon, the court ordered for their return to Nigeria and be compensated 200 thousand Naira each. Barrister Abdul Oroh has applied for certified copies of the ruling.
Last month, the Yaounde military court ruled the detained Ambazonia leaders were registered as refugees and asylum seekers in Nigeria after the defense counsel submitted their documents but ruled they will be judged in Cameroon.
This defense counsel has since protested and insist on filing an appeal for the detained to be returned to Nigeria.
The much talked about Ambazonia lockdown went into full force today across some cities and villages in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, sources have confirmed.
As usual, the day has been characterised by exchange of fire between security forces and Ambazonia fighters, local sources report.
In Tiko, at the entrance to the South West region of Cameroon, activities were very timid with very few bikes and taxis moving in the early hours of the morning but picked up steam as the day wore through.
Further at Mutengene, it was rather a mixed atmosphere with a timid pace of activities while a few gunshots were heard around the “quarter rubber” neighbourhood.
In Buea, the entrance of the town was swept in a complete lockdown from Mile 14 through to Molyko as shops remained closed as while the streets remained deserted. However, there was a lease of life further up town as shops were open around Bongo Square right up to Buea Town.
Driving out of Buea, precisely around Muea, there wereexchange of fire between security forces and Ambazonia fighters in Liongo village as well as the Wokaka new layout, sources said.
Muyuka was equally on lockdown as gunshots were heard throughout the morning and equally resumed later in the day, our sources said.
Further in Kumba, sources say most parts of the city are locked down compounded by the fact that the town has been in total black out.
In Bamenda, the lockdown was effective in most parts of the city with gunshots heard around Ntaruru though no cit has been quiet for the rest of the day.
In Ndu, sources talk of a dead town following a military operation last night aborted by heavy rains that forced the soldiers to retreat.
In summary, the lockdown was respected in some parts of the North West and South West regions of Cameroon while others went ahead with business as usual.
A soldier was killed on Monday morning in Mokunda village Limbe by a group of about 50 Ambazonia fighters who launched an attack on the village, sources have confirmed.
Mbonde Emmanuel, a senior warrant officer at the Limbe Naval Base was killed as the armed men invaded the village in Limbe II sub division in the early hours of the morning equally burning down his vehicle.
Several persons were equally abducted in the course of the raid carried out by the armed men but were later released though it is still not clear if all abducted persons have been released.
The corpse of the military officer have been preserved at the mortuary of the Limbe Regional Hospital Mortuary.
The corpses of at least nine young men were discovered in Mamfe, Manyu Division of the South West region on Monday morning, sources have confirmed.
Local sources said at least four corpses were discovered at Okoyong, three at Besongabang and one at Banya quarter while another around a primary school. Gruesome images which we got showed young men in their mid twenties lying in their own pool of blood.
Circumstances surrounding their demise are still not clear but locals say sporadic gunshots were heard last night in Mamfe while others talk of a military raid in the area.
Gunshots were equally heard in Mamfe early this morning as several residents preferred to remain indoors for their sfaety.
Last week, a boy in his twenties succumbed to a stray bullet during an exchange of fire between security forces and Ambazonia restoration fighters in Mamfe.
Kumbo Town is the second largest town in the North West Region of Cameroon, one of the restive English-speaking regions clamouring for autonomy. In recent times it has become an epicentre in the on-going conflict between Cameroon military forces and restorationist forces of the putative Republic of Ambazonia, often known as the Amba Boys. An unprecedented wave of violence has taken the town captive and is rooted in the New Year’s message of President Paul Biya as he approaches his 86th birthday, to use crude military force to quell the uprising if the terrorist/rebels do not lay down their arms.
In the early hours of January 1st, at 00.05am, to show allegiance to Biya (now in power for over 26 years), there was a deafening and frightful salvo of gunshots in all military facilities in the town causing the inhabitants flee to safety. The war had started.
The Score Board
In this month of January 2019 areas of the town such as Mbev, Ndzenji, Squares, SAC Junction, Mantum, Ber, and Meluf have been deprived of the right to own and live in decent houses. The conflagration of military fire has reduced many houses to ashes and forced many people to flee to unknown destinations, paving the way for mass looting from the forces of lawlessness and disorder. Many doors of houses are standing ajar after their crude acts. Soldiers come in waves and depart with looted material, especially Android appliances and food items. This probably is a well orchestrated and planned tool and strategy in this war of attrition. Target killings, extra-judicial execution, disappearances and abductions have become the hallmark of their presence.
In Mbve on January 18th, a pregnant nurse on her way to resume work at Shisong General Hospital was mercilessly gunned down by soldier from a rooftop.Two days later an early dawn raid was effected by the military within the premises of Shisong Hospital causing double trauma for the hospital patients as well as the Cardiac Unit. A young Internally Displaced boy of 17 who had never witnessed heavy military presence ran into the house where he was hosted for safety, but was unfortunately pulled out and riddled with bullets beyond recognition. Shisong, which hosted many IDPs, is experiencing a re-displacement, making a bad case worse. There is almost daily military presence and shooting around the hospital in the night and the IDPs plus their hosts have all flocked into the wards. No one can be certain of what is to come. There is an atmosphere of foreboding.
Everyone seems resigned to their fate. The military units making their entry from the West Region into Kumbo are leaving behind a trail of destruction of houses beyond imagination. Food stuff for people’s consumption is set ablaze. This is scorched earth policy. The civilians must pay the price.
January 21st a young bike rider at Squares-Kumbo round-about, who had just dropped off a passenger, ran into a military convoy returning from Shisong and was pulled off his bike and slaughtered with impunity. In Tankum Quarter, the story was no different; two young boys in their teens had their throats slit open by the military on allegations of being Amba affiliates. Minutes later military canisters were directed to another quarter, Kongir, setting a house ablaze, killing a two year old child therein, and wounding the sister and mother, who were lying in bed. Also, women have been raped with impunity. Goats and chickens have equally paid a price with their lives for roaming freely in town. They are shot and packed into military vans possibly for consumption. Beer parlours with stocks of beer that have been locked are invaded by these unfriendly visitors who consume the stock to excess and then shatter the remains into bits and pieces, thereby ruining the business of a proprietor.
Kumbo Town which used to be bustling with activity has become a dead town, a ghost town, a town abandoned to fate. About seven out of every ten houses have been abandoned. Frequent electricity black-outs or cuts are alarming. The cost of petrol and diesel has risen to absurd heights. The prices of basic foodstuffs have risen considerably. Getting water for use and consumption has become a Herculean task. Many people die in homes because they cannot afford the means to reach hospital. Many pregnant women have escaped into the bushes and far off villages for safety, disregarding anti-natal checks and clinics.
Commercial activities are at a standstill, with a gross shortage of basic commodities – even those that are available are sold at unbearable prices. Educational facilities are completely shut down and unemployment has soared. Dead IDPs are buried in the absence of relations by people of good will. Houses along the main road in the town are branded with bullet holes. Civilian farms within the precincts of military facilities have been torched and destroyed in order to create a buffer zone. Fugitives and IDPs moving into other regions are not free from harassment and death-threats. In Douala, IDPs are forced to pay a tax before being accommodated. Some are demeaned through innuendo and ethnic slurs. Many people wearing clothing of certain colours have become targets for the military. Wearers of black, the classic icon of tough guys, and red the emblematic insignia of Amba Boys, have become targets for elimination by the military. Bike Riders have not been spared from this fate.
On the other hand, Amba Boys that shoot for restoration forces, though defending and fighting for the marginalised, have equally left their own mark. Government sympathisers and those critical of them are whisked-off to unknown destinations where they are tortured beyond recognition and released only when a ransom is paid. They have frequently interrupted the little attempted commercial activity with death threats. Any Amba critic or sell-out receives the crown of brutality from the Amba Fist of Fury. Transit fees/fares demanded by Amba affiliates are heartbreaking. Moving from one Administrative Division to another is a nightmare with numerous check-points for both Amba and military forces. Having identity papers with a Cameroon Government Logo is nauseating and acrimonious to Amba Boys and a lack of them at Cameroon Government checkpoints is an occasion for arrest, torture, incarceration and death. This is the predicament of the inhabitants of Kumbo.
Reflection: “Actions that are designed for the methodical extermination of an entire people, nation or ethnic minority are always to be condemned as horrendous crimes” (Gaudium et Spes 79). “Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation” (Gaudium et Spes 80). The obligation of preventing war lies on all nations. A world organisation that has Supreme legitimacy and authority seem to be the most apt means of preventing war and promoting peace.
Conclusion: Pride which is the spurious feeling of superiority leads to errors of judgment with the consequences of disgrace, destruction, opposition, and downfall. There is the need for upgrading the call to the international community to intervene and force the warring parties to the bargaining table in an inclusive dialogue; for the pen is mightier than the sword. If the present trend of events continues unabated, there will surely be a replay of the Rwandan episode, plunging the entire Central African Sub-region into a morass. A stitch in time saves nine! For now, “as wanton boys are to the flies so are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport.” Source: Independent Catholic News.