A huge fight erupted on Monday in Cameroon’s border town of Otu, resulting in the deaths of at least four Cameroon government forces while four others could not be accounted for.
The fight started when seasoned Southern Cameroonian revenue collectors who also double as fighters ambushed Yaoundé government forces, wounding four and creating panic.
Otu is a Cameroon town on the border with Nigeria and together with Ekok, another border town in Manyu Division, account for about 60% of customs duty collected in the country.
Southern Cameroonian fighters hold that they now control the border and they will not give up their positions, especially as they are now aware of the huge amounts of money that have been heading to Yaoundé from those two Manyu border towns.
The fighters who sent a voice note to the Cameroon Concord News Group’s office in Mamfe argue that the Yaoundé government has been collecting customs duty for over 50 years and that makes the French-speaking government of Yaoundé to be indebted to Southern Cameroons to the tune of USD 70 billion.
The speaker in the voice note said the fighters were in control of that part of their territory, adding that the Yaoundé government would pay off that debt either in cash or “in life,” which explains why Yaoundé government soldiers are being chopped down or exploded by Southern Cameroonian fighters who have now resorted to using explosives.
The fighting started when Yaoundé government forces in Otu were on a patrol, claiming that they were in control of things, triggering the deadly ambush which resulted in the deaths of two police officers and two gendarme officers.
By Ojong Peter in Otu with additional editing by Oke Akombi Ayukepi Akap