Southern Cameroons Genocide: Biya ousted the vastly more experienced Anglophone military officials from command
Long ruled by a vicious, malicious and a sadist passing for a Roman Catholic , Cameroon could soon be in the hands of a military thug who may be more in tune with La Republique’s overwhelmingly young population currently hostile towards the people of Southern Cameroons for their lack of understanding of the political history and reunification agreements that were signed in 1961.
The young man in question is a Beti-Ewondo army colonel (names withheld), whose role in the killings of hundreds of Southern Cameroonians last week has been highly appreciated by many French Cameroun political elites. But few in Yaoundé now expect a swift transition without chaos.
From his Intercontinental hotel apartment in Geneva, Biya ousted the vastly more experienced Anglophone military officials from command operations including Brigadier General Elokobi Daniel Njock, General Ivo Yenwo and the newly appointed General Ekongwese all of whom have good working relations with the powerful Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Rene Sadi.
The move laid the foundation for the genocide currently going on in Southern Cameroons and ended a period of uncertainty within the Anglophone military top brass. It also raised questions about the wisdom of empowering an inexperienced army colonel so quickly when General Rene Meka is still in comtrol.
In some ways, the decision was to assist the youthful defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo who has been having major difficulties dealing with the old guards in the army hierarchy. Roughly 80 percent of senior French Cameroun military officers are above the age of 70 and there is no one among them who has cultivated an image as a dynamic leader, keen to take a dying nation into the modern era.
Added to this funny arrangement is what they call in La Republique “reserve generals”. These are retired army generals who are still under the government’s payroll and are still enjoying all the benefits of a senior official in the Cameroun army. They include Pierre Semengue and Tataw James.
The young Francophone colonel has pushed to increase the influence of the Rapid Intervention Battalion and the National Gendarmerie who are roaming the streets and public places of every Southern Cameroons state, counties and villages, interfering in private lives.
The killings of dozens of Southern Cameroonian citizens and the policy of militarization of the territory however, has been reckless. This policy has prompted even the moderate leadership of the outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium led by Barrister Agbor Felix Nkongho to join in resisting talks orchestrated by Prime Minister Philemon Yang and accusing Yaoundé of following an “extremist ideology”.
Biya has indeed created problems for Cameroon as a nation and for Nigeria following the influx of thousands of Southern Cameroons refugees into Ikom, Calabar and some to Lagos. The gang of young Beti-Ewondo officers now running the political show in Yaoundé have found common cause with anti Anglophone cabinet members such as the Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso who despite having Anglophone children in his first marriage with Justice Arrey gave his blessings to the genocide going on in West Cameroon, the Minister delegate in charge of the gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam, Higher Education Minister, Fame Ndongo, Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma and Defense Minister Beti Assomo.
In addition, the young soldiers have picked an unnecessary fight with the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Southern Cameroons, partly because the Bishops did not cite with the Biya regime and support the crackdown like the Francophone Bishops have done.
The young soldiers and the hardliners in government have acted without thinking through the consequences. So, Biya has turn back to his Anglophone Prime Minister Philemon Yang for redress. We of the Cameroon Concord News Group think it is too little too late. Philemon Yang is not a wise and transformative Southern Cameroons politician. For the time being, he needs the guidance of more experienced hands, including men like Barrister Ben Muna and former governor David Aboum, whom many Southern Cameroons political elites consider their best friend in La Republique du Cameroun.
Prime Minister Philemon Yang said he was carrying a message of “peace and hope” from President Biya to the people of the Republic of Southern Cameroons. Yes Mister Prime Minister, for your information, “You do not talk peace with a friend or a brother!! You talk peace with an enemy.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai
Cameroon Concord News Group