Southern Cameroons Crisis: The genocide is real
As the world looks the other way, Cameroonian soldiers are pressing forward with their plan to exterminate the indigenous people of Southern Cameroons. As seen in the video below, many young men are being herded to an unknown destination by Cameroonian soldiers with instructions from the minister of defense for severe measures to be taken.
Over the last two days, the Yaounde government has intensified its violent military operations in the two English-speaking regions of the country as separatist leaders call for a one week total lockdown of the region.
It should be underscored that the government’s brutality against the indigenous people of Southern Cameroons has radicalized the people and created more than a million refugees, with over half a million living rough in neighboring Nigeria which does not have the proper infrastructure to receive such a large number of refugees.
Today in Cameroon, there are more than half a million internally displaced persons, with the majority living in Yaounde and Douala. They have to fend for themselves and in many cases, they spend the night in the open where they are harrassed and exploited by government soldiers.
It should be recalled that the government had burnt down more than 140 villages, leaving the local population which is caught between brutal government forces and armed Southern Cameroonians who claim they are fighting for the total liberation of their land helpless.
The Southern Cameroons crisis which started as a protest by teachers and lawyers has spiralled out of control due to the government’s unnecessary violent crackdown that has brought the Southern Cameroonian Diaspora into the fray.
Today, the people of Southern Cameroons prefer to take their cue from the Diaspora instead of the government that has been shooting and killing many young men who have nothing to do with the high level insurgency that is playing out in Southern Cameroons.
Southern Cameroonians have been complaining of marginalization for more than five decades, but the Yaounde government has preferred to deliver to them death and destruction, insteading of seeking to address the issues that have caused the people to feel marginalized.
It should be underscored that Southern Cameroons holds about 60% of the country’s wealth and in the event of any separation, East Cameroon will be reduced to a very poor country.
The Southwest region alone accounts for more than 40% of Cameroon’s wealth. It has huge oil deposits, gold, timber and diamond, but the Southwesterner has been reduced to a sorry spectator of events in his own land. The region’s rich volcanic soil makes it the country’s bread basket.
Added to this is its seas that contain huge fish stocks that are being harvested by foreign companies. Royalties for this wealth is not paid into the councils and municipalities located in the region.
These huge sums of money have been paid to councils in the French-speaking regions for years, and Southern Cameroonians want to rupture such an exploitative relationship that has impoverished the indigenous people of this region.
Since the conflict started in 2016, more than 5,000 Cameroonians have lost their lives, including some 2,000 soldiers. More than three thousand have been injured. Despite this gloomy picture, the United Nations and the international community are indifferent to the genocide playing out in Southern Cameroons.
The country’s army soldiers are killing young men and women indiscriminately. Even children are not safe. The uniformed, sex-starved and drug-inflamed rapists are on a rampage and if the world remains on the sidelines, another Rwanda will play out in Cameroon.
The conflict has crippled the country’s economy, but it has created brand new and lucrative opportunities for the criminals wearing national uniforms.
These days, they round up young men and women for no reason and take them to the nearest police station or gendarmerie brigade where they are required to pay about USD 1,000 to the soldiers. They are sometimes threatened with death.
The soldiers, most of whom are of Beti extraction, always threaten their victims that they would be taken to Yaounde where they would be incarcerated for months without any charges laid.
Impoverished relatives are sometimes asked to pay the money before a certain deadline and this has raised the level of stress and fear in the regions by so many notches.
The world cannot continue to be blind to the rivers of blood that have been flowing in Southern Cameroons for almost three years. How much blood still has to flow for this nasty conflict to draw international attention and condemnation?
The genocide in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions is real and the world must step in to check it. The world must learn its lessons. Rwanda had proven that a few people were capable of bringing death and destruction to a people.
The world had promised that such madness would be checked. But why is the international community indifferent to the sorry plight of the indigenous people of Southern Cameroons?
The world must not let the country’s president, Paul Biya, and his collaborators to mow down an entire people. They must not get away with genocide.
By God, it is great to speak English. So why are Southern Cameroonians being slaughtered while the French and the world keep on cheering Mr. Biya? This needs to end and the time is now.