The leadership of the Ambazonia Interim Government has warned they could target the four football teams – including Tunisia – playing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group F matches in Southern Cameroons.
Tunisia, Mauritania, Gambia, and Mali will play in the town of Limbe, southern Cameroons, in mid-January, which is a constituency under the control of the Ambazonia Revolutionary Guards.
Earlier this month, Vice President Dabney Yerima threatened the French Cameroun regime saying Amba fighters will carry out attacks against Limbe and Buea – two towns that have stadiums hosting Africa Cup matches.
Dabney Yerima called on the African Football Federation, FIFA and Total Energies to take their responsibilities and prevent the tournament from taking place inside Southern Cameroons territory.
The Ambazonia Interim Government said Amba self defense groups will disrupt the games if the Biya French Cameroun government does not withdraw its army soldiers from the Federal Republic of Ambazonia which separated from the rest of French-speaking Cameroon five years ago through a bloody insurrection that has cost thousands of lives.
The AFCON tournament will run from 9 January to 6 February and gather 24 African soccer teams, officials, and thousands of fans. Cameroon authorities have assured that the tournament will be safe and deployed additional troops to Southern Cameroons to prevent Ambazonia fighters from advancing during the games.
The fate of January’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon is now hanging in the balance due to concerns over Biya regime’s readiness to host the tournament as Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe arrived in Yaounde on Monday for talks.
On Sunday, a CAF executive committee meeting resolved to go ahead with the 24-team event only if Motsepe was able to secure guarantees from Cameroon over its readiness.
Several members of the committee called for the tournament to be postponed, insiders hinted local and international media, but the majority voted for Motsepe to make an emergency trip to engage with the corrupt Francophone government officials.
Concerns have been voiced over a lack of organisation, incomplete building work and the threat of coronavirus outbreaks among the large number of players and staff set to descend on the under-resourced country in the next few weeks.
By Chi Prudence Asong with files