Cameroon government’s deliberate attacks on civilians in Bamenda: Shameful, disgusting and disgraceful
Four years of unceasing conflict have overwhelmed any attempts to separate civilians from Ambazonia Restoration Forces and made the concept of a normal, quiet life a seemingly unachievable goal in Southern Cameroons-Ambazonia.
While the Southern Cameroons Interim Government, the French Cameroun military, weapons and goals of both President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and President Paul Biya have shifted shape and character, the average Southern Cameroonian has borne the brunt of a conflict that is hard to fathom but too easy to feel.
Yesterday’s attack on civilians in Bamenda by soldiers loyal to the regime in Yaoundé despite calls for a ceasefire by the UN Security Council is a willful act from a determined French Cameroun political structure backed by French President Emmanuel Macron that does not care about international laws but it is only interested to win at any cost.
Evidently speaking, the attacks on civilians in Bamenda have finally revealed how French Camerounians hate the people of Southern Cameroons. Cameroon Intelligence Report gathered from a well placed source that the soldiers were under the influence of alcohol and drugs provided by the administrative hierarchy headed by Governor Lele Afrique.
The chaotic nature of the Southern Cameroons crisis and the immaturity and ignorance of many in the Cameroon government and military is helping to ensure that attacks on Southern Cameroons civilians are constant and unrestrained.
Why Cameroon government army soldiers attack civilians
The four years of the Southern Cameroons crisis can best be defined as a “war against Southern Cameroons civilians”. The success of the Biya led-war can be measured only in the sea of dead bodies and thousands of broken families in both the North West and the South West constituencies of Southern Cameroons. To be accurate, the idea of civilians coming under attack and being subjected to torture and other vicious forms of treatment once reserved for captured Ambazonian fighters is now a legal part of the Cameroon government army.
The international community is being fed stories of crimes committed by Ambazonia fighters with the support of Barrister Agbor-Balla the founder of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, an organization that is claiming to be documenting human rights violations in the ongoing crisis and representing victims of the violence.
However, what the human rights lawyer did not mention in his recent report is that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Cameroon government troops have not halt their attacks on Southern Cameroons towns and villages because they are having trouble deciding who is an Amba fighter and who is a town or village resident but have simply replaced the United Nations policy of treating civilians well with a scorched earth approach where Francophone army soldiers are being ordered to burn the people’s property.
When I met Barrister Agbor Balla some months ago in the city of Essen in Germany, he pointed out that “Burning 1 or 2 villages may be a mistake but burning 300 is definitely a government policy.” Of course destroying all, burning into ash is the objective of fighting the Southern Cameroons enemy.
Cameroon government soldiers are destroying the Southern Cameroons economy! To be sure, the Biya regime in Yaoundé backed by the French is destroying everything Southern Cameroonian. Soldiers are burning houses, warehouses, cutting off roads; electricity and water supply in order that Southern Cameroonians lack supplies to even combat the Covid-19 so that the population would compromise.
The Bamenda attacks witnessed civilians running in front of bullets. It was indeed the Francophone soldiers’ intention to shoot them as their bullets have no eyes. The Bamenda attack was shameful, disgusting and disgraceful. It may as well be a birthday gift from the Biya regime to Barrister Agbor Balla who celebrated his 50th recently.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai