The bloodshed unleashed by Cameroon government army soldiers in Southern Cameroons where thousands of people, if not more have been killed is yet to raise any worrying question about Biya regime’s continued deployments and the Francophone dominated army’s inability to crush the Ambazonian fighters controlling nearly all rural settlements and border posts in Southern Cameroons.
Recent attacks in Otu, Bamali, Ekondo Titi and Nguti proceeded like many others carried out by Southern Cameroons Self Defense Forces in it’s over four-year-long resistance against the Cameroon government military.
The Amba fighters raided check points; military convoys burned down armored vehicles and killed several elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion before striking the National Gendarmerie Force. On Saturday, a large number of Amba fighters overwhelmed a gendarmerie checkpoint at Ngoketunjia and three gendarmes who were at the checkpoint were killed.
Since 2017, Cameroon government army soldiers have used explosives, AK47 guns and rape to further their goal of maintaining the so-called one and indivisible Cameroon.
The United Nations and Amnesty International say as many as 5,000 people may have been killed. The Southern Cameroons Interim Government has reported death tolls in the thousands. Journalists and international human rights organizations haven’t been able to access the Southern Cameroons territory.
While the death toll remains uncertain, we of the Cameroon Concord Group can now reveal that the once formidable Rapid Intervention Battalion known as BIR has been demystified and many of its members are biting the dust in the jungles of Southern Cameroons.
The so-called BIR that was thought to be among Africa’s best militaries have been unable to stop a hastily assembled ragtag group of fighters now being referred to as Ambazonia Restoration Force.
There are so many issues involved in this prominent and successful failure on the part of the Cameroon government military and they include the francophonising of the army recruitment process, lack of a unified command structure, poor equipment, low morale and corruption among army generals and colonels.
Scores within the Cameroon government military have faced secret courts-martials in Buea, Douala and Yaoundé in recent months for disobeying orders and, in many instances, refusing deployment to Southern Cameroons.
A prominent army general stationed in Buea at the beginning of the conflict, openly complained that his men were underequipped and that high-ranking military officials were bilking the country of money meant to fight the Southern Cameroons war was replaced by President Biya. Complaints of a lack of equipment are a taboo within the Cameroon government army.
The 88-year-old Head of State and Commander-In-Chief has done everything including sending in additional troops and giving them expanded powers to fight the Southern Cameroons Self Defense Forces. President Biya’s troop surge is still not enough, nor is his tactics suitable for countering a group of determined young men and women whose hunting rifles have now been replaced with more sophisticated killing machines.
We understand that the Cameroon government army does not have sufficient armies deployed in the Far North to protect the civilian population against Boko Haram and the Biya Francophone regime in Yaoundé is also not able to put enough soldiers on the ground in Southern Cameroons.
Meanwhile, the Cameroon military is now a constituency within the Cameroon political structure and its strength has developed in the past four years as the balance of state power in Yaoundé has shifted from civilian members of government to military generals.
Ever since the emergence of Boko Haram, the conflict in the Central African Republic and the war in Southern Cameroons, Biya and his ruling CPDM crime syndicate have found it necessary to feed the military leadership as a way to protect their power.
Correspondingly, army generals and colonels have everything while the Cameroonian security is being underfunded and is currently under-manpowered.
By Isong Asu