A senior military commander and member of the so-called National Security Council says hardliners in the Biya Francophone regime in Yaoundé are deeply concerned about the big rubbergun project recently launched by the Southern Cameroons Interim Government and are now pushing for a political discourse on federalism.
The colonel who spoke to our Yaoundé city reporter but sued for anonymity made the remarks on Monday after an emergency security meeting summoned by the military hierarchy to examine the situation in Southern Cameroons.
“We now know that the numerous explosive devices used by Ambazonian fighters are part of their big rubbergun project and this is very troubling to the political leaders” he said.
The Cameroon government military official observed that President Biya and his Francophone aides have been preoccupied over recent weeks with the many explosions that have claimed the lives of several Cameroon government army soldiers.
Southern Cameroons Vice President Dabney Yerima said on Friday last week that the big rubbergun project will ease the Southern Cameroons trip to Buea.
The War in Ambazonia
Since the 1970s, Southern Cameroons’civil society organizations and individuals periodically organized non-violent protests and sent deputations and petitions to the Yaoundé authorities calling for the redress of legitimate grievances, including the ending of its colonization and annexation of the Southern Cameroons. These actions were always met with characteristic violent repression, imprisonment, torture, and killings. In 2016, Southern Cameroons’ lawyers, all in their wigs and gowns, staged a peaceful public demonstration calling for an end to the organized systematic destruction of the Southern Cameroon’s common-law-based legal and judicial system. The reaction of Yaoundé was swift and ferocious. Gendarmes encircled the lawyers as they marched, battered them and ripped off their wigs and tore their gowns, arbitrarily arresting and imprisoning, and torturing many of them. Teachers and a consortium of civil society organizations soon joined the action by the protesting lawyers. They called for an immediate end to the bastardization of the English-derived system of education obtaining in the Southern Cameroons. They also called for an end to the policy of pauperization of the Southern Cameroons and its people. Again, these actions were met with the most brutal response, including the deployment of armed soldiers who did not hesitate to shoot and kill.
When the population came out en masse with peace plants to protest these wanton killings, the soldiers fanned out all over the Southern Cameroons and visited the people – women, men, boys, girls, children, the old, the sick and the infirm – with despicable mayhem. But still the people came out in protest. Mr Biya, Cameroun’s 88-year-old President for 40 years, then publicly declared that his troops would do what he has ordered them to do in the Southern Cameroons. And so, the four-year old war in Ambazonia was unleashed on the people of the territory by Republique du Cameroun in November 2017. Taken by surprise and never being prepared for war, the people found themselves having to defend themselves, their families, their communities and their territory literally with bare hands. They used pebbles, sticks, machetes and a few old rusty hunting Dane guns and gunpowder retrieved here and there.
By Chi Prudence Asong