Soldiers deployed to Manyu Division in the Southwest Region of Cameroon have threatened ordinary citizens in Mkpot, Mbatop and Ebam with death if they do not reveal where the tough Southern Cameroonian fighters known as Amba boys are hiding.
The sex-starved, alcohol-inflamed and trigger-happy soldiers on Monday, January 13, 2020, stormed several villages in the highly volatile region of Manyu Division, threatening innocent civilians they would burn their villages the next time they returned to those villages if the whereabouts of the Amba fighters were not revealed.
The frustrated and scared soldiers hold that civilians are sympathizing with the fighters and if they can succeed to strike fear in the minds of the villagers, they will be able to put the Amba boys out of business before the fake twin elections scheduled for February 9, 2020.
The Yaounde government has, since January 2019, been using armed militiamen to do its dirty job in Southern Cameroons.
Some of the armed militiamen are also wear army uniforms, though they have not been trained accordingly.
It is being alleged that the armed militiamen are from President Paul Biya’s South Region and the whole idea of using militiamen to wreak havoc in Southern Cameroons is an idea engineered by defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, and higher education minister, Jacques Fame Ndongo, both of whom hail from the South Region.
The country’s territorial administration minister, Paul Atanga Nji, an ex-convict, has also trained his own militiamen and released them on the population of the two English-speaking regions of the country where they are running amok.
Regarding the threats issued in Manyu Division by wreckless soldiers, unconfirmed sources say the Cameroon military is being aided in the commission of its atrocities by the Mkpot Chief, Nchong Thomas Nkongho, who many consider as a black leg.
It is also alleged that the Mkpot chief now dresses up in military fatigue and bears an AK47 and a pistol for self-protection, as he is in the crosshairs of Amba boys who hold that he has been betraying them and the Southern Cameroons cause for total independence.
Residents of Mkpot hold that Mr. Nchong Thomas brought the military to Mkpot and aided and abetted the trigger-happy soldiers in their slaughtering of a Mkpot resident, Best Joe. The soldiers are also being accused of setting many homes in Mkpot ablaze, an incident that has left many homeless and desperate.
It should be recalled that since the commencement of the Southern Cameroons crisis, the country’s military has burnt down more than 250 villages, with many mentally ill and old people roasted in the process.
The atrocities of the country’s military have been well document by human rights organizations like the International Crisis Group and Amnesty International which have undercover agents in the two English-speaking regions of the country.
It should be recalled in 2017, Manyu Division was the epicenter of the Southern Cameroons crisis when four irresponsible and corrupt gendarm officers where killed in Agborkem German where they had seized the money and goods of some Nigerian traders.
The military spinned the story and reported that the corrupt and lawless gendarm officers were killed by Southern Cameroonians who were protesting against the government.
The country’s out-of-touch president, Paul Biya, who was in Abidjan, Cote d’ivoire, at the time the corrupt gendarm officers were killed, bought the fake report hook, line and sinker, and declared war on Southern Cameroonians who were only complaining about the marginalization they had suffered for 60 years.
Since then, more than 5,000 Cameroonians have been killed as a result of the conflict, including some 2,000 army soldiers.
Despite calls by the international community for an inclusive dialogue whose objective will be to seek solutions to the issues that have triggered the conflict, the Yaounde government has tone deaf and it has continued mowing down its own people while paying very attention to the international community’s repeated calls.
The conflict, which started as protests by teachers and lawyers, is into its fourth year and there is no end in sight.
Currently, the United Nations is providing humanitarian assistance to internally displaced people in the two English-speaking regions of the country while Doctors without Borders are on the ground, providing medical assistance to victims of the fighting.
Kingsley Betek in Cameroon