Military/Separatist: where does solace lie?

locally fabricated weapons collected from separatist fighters

It is no longer news that the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have come under increasing gun power battles since the what started as socio professional crisis from common law lawyers and teachers morphed into an armed conflict. 

Youth living in the urban and rural communities in these two regions were manipulated and brainwashed into picking up arms against the state - they were given false hopes that independence will be granted the state of British Southern Cameroons in a single year. 

These excited youth who elevated themselves to security commanders and generals were hailed in their communities as heroes and liberators.

Shockingly, the independence they thought would be granted in a fortnight is still farfetched four years on. 

The self-styled liberators of Anglophones have now gotten power drunk, committing rights violations and abuses more than those they claim to be protecting their people from - they more often referred to as these days as oppressors and no longer liberators. 

These so called liberators now use the population as their shield. Their uncalculated and uncoordinated attacks has forced many to flee their homes for safety. 

They have mounted irregular security checkpoints along roads in these two regions where collection of bribes is the order of the day. 

Their own people whom they claim to be protecting are subjected to torture, beheading, maiming and outright desecration of the customs and traditions of the people. 

The liberators who are now oppressors have in a steady ride forced the population of the two regions to tilt their attention back to the army. 

After respecting unpopular ghost town and lockdown calls for weeks in the North West, owners of two private vehicles set ablaze - one at back Travellers and the other at Nitob neighbourhoods saw their vehicles set up in flames as they tried to face the days hussle. 

This has been recurrent with kidnaps as a 10-year-old was almost whisked to the unknown at Sisia but for the timely Intervention of the population. 

Residents of Nkwen in Bamenda III subdivision have foiled several of such kidnaps from liberators cum separatist fighters.

The pain they arr inflicting on the population is becoming unbearable. This forcing locals the more to collaborate with the security despite the consequences. 

A month ago, six separatist fighters were apprehended by the people of Widikum and handed to the National Gendarmerie

The military on their part have not had a good ride in their mission to maintain law and order and protect the citizens from the incursions of the gunmen. 

The people of the anglophone regions who are now caught between two wars are left with no option but to seek solace in the one they thought was their enemy - as is painted by diaspora-based separatist. 

An average man resident in the North West and South West Regions really wished this crisis never started. 

Access to farm lands, business premises and schools have become a nightmare. People now struggle to erk a life out of destitution. 

Colonel Matiang Charles Alain, commander of the 51st Motorised infantry Brigade has in several outings confessed that the population has been working in synergy with the army to identify hideouts of separatist fighters. 

This is further compounded with the unpopular call for an indefinite ghost town by Chris Anu, Ambazonian Communication Secretary on a bartered people whose only crime is the fear of their lives and those around them. 

Some have predicted that until the people stand as one to stop, condemn and report atrocities committed by fighters on them, the suffering is not ending anytime soon. 

But for how long will these suffering population continue to collaborate when a solution to the crisis could just lie in a sincere negotiation with detained separatist leaders. 


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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