Sunday, 15 April 2018
A Bloody & Costly ‘War’ That Profits No One
-How Many More Cameroonians Must Die Before We Consider Ending The War?
President Biya said in a recent address to the nation that “the situation in the NW and SW is stabilizing” and that the security forces are doing a great job keeping the separatist ‘terrorists’ in check. The President made these remarks despite the bloody gun battles, kidnappings, indiscriminate killings, arson, looting, waylay etc etc that have continued to be reported almost daily in some parts of the two restive regions. Observers reckon that the ‘war’ has become too ghastly and very costly in terms of financial and material losses; it should be brought to an end now. They say the President must review his narrative and take alternative courses of action, however politically expedient, if he must avoid the worst.
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
The ‘Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary’ defines the word expedient as “an action that is useful or necessary for a particular purpose, but not always fair or right”. The ghastly nature of the ‘war’ in the Anglophone regions and the burden it is putting on the state treasury speak to the need for alternative, politically expedient actions to be taken if the danger that is looming large on the horizon must be avoided.
Whichever way you look at it, the military option since adopted by the President as response to the crisis is evidently inadequate and ill-adapted to the guerilla tactics of the Ambazonia fighters. And the casualty on both sides is heavy, very heavy indeed, that is if reports from the war-fronts are anything to be relied on.
Time has proven that the more we think that we are winning and escaping the worst the more the separatist fighters are becoming more and more invigorated and deadly. Like the retro virus that causes HIV/AIDS, the Ambazonia fighters have continued changing their tactics and moving the target of their deadly attacks, and this only makes things evidently difficult for the government forces.
Our military chiefs should be honest enough to tell the President that what they thought would be an easy ride over the rather untrained, unprofessional and very poorly equipped Ambazonia fighters is turning out to be anything but easy.
Many government soldiers coming from the war front have been fair enough to admit to this reporter off the record that “those Ambazonia boys are deadly…They are protected with magical powers that make things very difficult for us.”
And what these soldiers are saying might be true considering that in a recent video post on social media, a group of young men calling themselves the ‘Lebialem Ambazonia Defence Forces’ were seen brandishing Kalashnikov rifles and boasting how they killed government soldiers and took away the weapons. When the Ambazonia fighters started their military adventure months ago they were reported as using mainly den-guns and other artisanal weapons. That they now possess modern war guns should be a matter of great concern for the authorities.
There is no question therefore for the government to think that we are winning the war and escaping the worst in this crisis. The Ambazonia fighters have proven in many ways and in every way that they are very determined and far from being daunted. And the fact that they enjoy considerable sympathy from the population only plays to their advantage, and to the disadvantage of the government forces.
How Many More Cameroonians Must Die for the War to End?
Courtesy: The Colbert Factor
This reflection is provoked by the fact that although everybody seems to be calling for dialogue as the surest way to end the now bloody Anglophone crisis, the situation on the ground seems to be moving from bad to worse. The cliff hanger situation has reached a level where whole neighborhoods and streets of our villagers and semi urban areas are all painted with blood, pain and wailing. No one family seems to be spared.
The reflection is also inspired by the fact even a once little known locality like Sowi, situated off the jaws of Anyajua in Belo Sub Division, has only in the last few weeks, become a veritable symbol of Anglophone Far-Right extremists resistance. It is the more informed by the fact that although all of humanity is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the death and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the father of non violent resistance, Cameroonians who have hitherto been reputed for being gentlemanly, have rather indulged themselves in the worst form of bestiality that rubbishes the sacrosanct principle of the sanctity of human blood.
This reflection, to say the least, is a cry for our beloved nation. If after the passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ, Cameroonians are fighting and spilling human blood, it means they are re-nailing Christ on the cross.
Truth is those who are standing on the shadows of Martin Luther King and spilling human blood are to say the least, anathema. In the same light, all those trigger happy security operatives spilling innocent blood are also anathema. No responsible government can pride itself, the way Cameroon government is doing, of successfully and professionally killing its citizens, however extremists they have become.
The President of the Republic and all the government officials may send as many congratulatory messages to Forces of Law and Order for what it calls their professionalism. When the chips are down and the costs are counted, it would be known who was professional and who was not. When the military shoots and wounds innocent civilians in Belo and Anyajua and block their being transported to hospital so they die of gun wounds, it is easy to know who is professional and who is not. Never in the history of war-faring have the wounded been denied access to hospitals.
Anglophone Lawyer Prays Court to Slam Mancho Bibixy Death Penalty
|Mancho Bibixy brought to military court|
In his concluding submission at the Yaounde Military Tribunal on Friday last week, lawyer for the prosecution, Barrister Achu Julius, reminded the judge that the prosecution has throughout the trial presented sufficient evidence to prove the defendants, Mancho Bibixy and Co. guilty for all the charges brought against them including notably terrorism, insurrection and apology to terrorism.
Barrister Achu prayed the learned military judge therefore to uphold the charges and to punish the defendants according to the strength and gravity of their crimes. He prayed the judge to slam “maximum penalty” on Mancho and Co. The December 2014 law on terrorism prescribes a death penalty for any person(s) guilty of terrorism.
Military Judge to Decide Mancho Bibixy’s Fate Next Week
-Several Anglophone activists already slammed heavy jail terms
By Innocent Kum in Yaounde
|Penn Terence slammed 12 years in jail by the military judge|
At least four Anglophone activists who for months have been held at the Yaounde Kondengui Maximum security prison were last week handed heavy jail terms by the Yaounde military tribunal.
While Terence Penn Khan who was charged with terrorism, secession, group rebellion and incitement to civil war was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of 5 million FCFA, Che Benjamin and Ambeizi Andrew were each handed 11-year jail terms during the a lengthy court session Tuesday, April 10.
On Friday, April 13, yet another Anglophone activist, Ngalim Felix, who was arrested amidst the ongoing socio-political tension in the North West and South West regions, was slammed an 11 year jail term by the military judge.
However, Coffin revolutionist, Mancho Bibixy who appeared in court same day had his case adjourned to April 24. It is most likely that his fate just like that of other Anglophone detainees who are being jointly tried will be decided same day.
Sentencing Penn Terrence earlier on Tuesday, the Judge of the Yaounde military court said he found him guilty of several counts including notably complicity to secession, complicity in financing terrorism, hostility to the fatherland and complicity to incite rebellion.
Before listening to the judge’s verdict, Penn Terence told the court that political decisions and not court sentences will resolve the socio-political tensions in the North West and South West regions.
Ambazonia Gunmen block Kumba-Buea Highway
-Villagers run for their lives as government forces go for the gunmen
|Ambazonia Gunmen say they are planning an attack on Buea|
A heavy and lengthy gunfire exchange was reported as ensuing between gunmen supposedly belonging to the separatist Ambazonia Defence Force, and government forces, in the localities of Ediki and Mbalangi along the Kumba-Buea highway on Friday.
The reports said gunmen emerging from the UNALOR forest reserve fired shots in the air and blocked the circulation of vehicles along the highway passing through the area.
The gunmen used tree stems and huge stones to block the road making it difficult for an intervention battalion of government soldiers to go through the area, it was reported.
Stranded, the soldiers opened fire indiscriminately in the direction of the gunmen. The gunmen also responded from their vantage position in the nearby forest. Villagers say the gun exchange lasted for several hours.
Some sources said one soldier was killed in the gunfire exchange. It added that many incurred serious wounds on both sides. We could not confirm the reports at press time yesterday.
The government media that used to give the official version of events on the battle field has since stopped doing so. Not even the military spokesman now makes any public comments on happenings on the field.
CPDM Senator Promises to Work with SDF Colleagues
By Njodzefe Nestor in Bamenda
|Elizabeth Regina Mundi, appointed senator after long years in the CPDM|
Elizabeth Regina Mundi, one of the CPDM senators appointed by President Paul Biya for the North West region by Decree N° 2018/242 of 12 April 2018 has pledged to work hand in glove with other SDF elected Senators. She was appointed long side Fon Doh Ganyonga III and Fon Chafah Isaac as substantives and Jaji Manu Gidado, Atanga Charles Musi and Agha Martin Kum as alternates.
While talking to the press immediately after her appointment, she promised to work for the good of the entire population of the North West region irrespective of their political affiliations.
“it is an honour to know that I am part of the team that will be working for this region because you know the Head of States priority is for the population…So as part of this team we will work very hard and hand in hand” noted Mme Mundi revealing that she has spoken with the other SDF Senators in an effort that they work to satisfy the population.
Elizabeth Regina Mundi also thanked President Paul Biya for confidence bestowed on her and likewise the mayors and councilors of the North West region likewise the administration and CPDM militants.
Worthy of note is the fact Regina Mundi CPDM list leader for the North West during the just ended Senatorial elections that saw the SDF defeat the CPDM. Her appointment despite the defeat of the party in the region to many is not a surprise for she has worked tirelessly and sacrificed enormously for the party.
Full of wisdom and reputed for her inclusive approach to politics, Regina Mundi who is also a Political Bureau member of the CPDM.