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US Dipolomat: Cameroon must return to federal system “illegally abolished under Ahidjo”



As the security and social crisis in Cameroon’s Anglophone region rages, a former United States ambassador is advocating a return to federalism as the only viable solution.

Herman Cohen, a former assistant Secretary of State for Africa says the government must go back for the original federal system that was in his view ‘illegally abolished’ during the tenure of the country’s first president Ahmadou Ahidjo.

Ahidjo the country’s first president governed with a federal system for the first twelve years of his presidency. But in 1972, the federal system was abolished for a United Republic of Cameroon directed from Yaounde.

There has been a resurgence in the push by southern Cameroonians to secede from French-dominant Cameroon. A similar agitation started in the late 1990s. The recent one (October 2017 till date) started as peaceful protests   led by lawyers and  teachers of english extraction against  marginalization till the government cracked down on protesters.

It has now taken a violent turn as separatists elements have staged guerilla style attacks on security forces killing over twenty of them. The two Anglophone regions (North West and South West) have also been under curfew for the last few months.

Ahidjo stepped down as president in 1982 and Paul Biya took over the reigns. The current governance structure concentrates power in the presidency despite two chambers of the legislature – the 180-member National Assembly and the 100-member Senate.

The President is elected for a seven-year mandate. The presidency creates policy, administers government agencies, commands the armed forces, negotiates and ratifies treaties, and declares a state of emergency if need be.

The president appoints government officials at all levels, from the prime minister (considered the official head of government), to the provincial governors and divisional officers. President Biya is sure to run in polls scheduled for later this year.



Ngarbuh attack: Yaounde is restless as separatists ‘weaponize’ the killings



Condemnation and outrage has poured in from all over the world as the government looks confused, desperate and frustrated over the attack which took place in Ngarbuh, Ndu, North West region of Cameroon

News of scores of civilians killed including at least 14 children and pregnant women according to rights groups have put the country’s 4 years old crisis on the international spotlight like never before, torched the conscience of the world attracting major news channels around the world and angering diplomats and humanitarian

Barely hours, after the world was waking up to the excesses of celebrating a day of love-Feb 14th 2020, heart-breaking images of scores of people killed in Cameroon once again, reminded the world the crisis is far from a national problem

Bishops around the world, UN officials and foreign governments have condemned the act, calling for the government to carry out an independent investigation and perpetrators brought to justice

But the government is in a fixed after denying any killing took place, arguing only five persons were killed due to fire explosion in a family residence, many within the corridors power are struggling to contain the in international pressure and national outcry

The world is beginning to ask serious questions as separatist and activists flash pictures of innocent toddlers reportedly killed by a gun, leaving Yaoundé with no easy way out as damage control mechanism are being rollout

The killing of children or woman even during wartime is considered by international law as a serious crime and the world frowns at governments and regimes which kills children and women than any other thing.

Nobody seems to be believing the government in Yaoundé and the world continues to call for an investigation with the US embassy issuing a string statement saying ‘the conflict must stop’

Separatists are feeding fat

Ambazonians separatist have seized on the information like never before, activating their seemingly endless social media information machinery, posting and tweeting nonstop ever since the incident took place

Images of an entire family killed have been making rounds on social media with hashtag IAmNgrrbuh trending on twitter as separatist continue to drum out the severity of the alleged crime and calling for the world to intervene

The Ngarbuh attack has given separatist an added impetus for a struggling which has been struggling lately. Coming after recently held municipal and legislative elections despite the imposed shutdown in Anglophone regions for six days and in the back of some impressive military gains against non-state armed fighters.

But the Nggarbuh attack serves as a lifeline especially to their information warfare, given them something to rally the world and give the conflict an international character

Memories of Rwanda genocide were invoked as separatists remind the world about their promise of never Again, the government continues to insist that ONLY FIVE PEOPLE DIED DUE TO ACCIDENT and for now it seems only the government is believing that version of the story

As the world continues to pressure Yaoundé over clarity on what happened on February 14th in a small village in North West region, officials will be hoping that the incident dies naturally overtime on the international scene as the Anglophone crisis continues to set new trends and indeed new standards of barbarism

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Ngambuh killings: 16 world bishops pen Roman Catholic Biya



Catholic Bishops from around the world sign an open letter to the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, asking him to begin peace negotiations with the separatist movement in that country.

According to vaticannews, the open letter was In response to an attack on the village of Ngarbuh , in the North West of the country, 16 bishops from around the world have drafted an open letter to Paul Biya, the President of Cameroon.

coordinated by the non-partisan Global Campaign for Peace and Justice in Cameroon, the clergymen urge the president, who has been in power since 1982, to join inclusive Swiss-led negotiations aimed at finding a peaceful solution to long-standing Anglophone concerns.

Civilians suffering

The open letter by the Bishops stresses that they are not taking political sides in the disagreements.
“We are motivated by our concern about the suffering of unarmed civilians, and the stability and prosperity of Cameroon,” the Bishops write.

The letter also notes that at least 2,000 people have died as a result of the conflict.

“Each of these lives is precious and we mourn their suffering and wish to prevent more loss of life and innocence.”

The Bishops also applaud previous efforts to negotiate a settlement, and note that “if all parties treat each other as they wish to be treated, a solution is possible.”

Government has denied any involvement in the killings in Ngambuh which many says is a massacre

Yaounde says only 5 persons died due to duke explosion.

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Human Interest

Crackdown on suspected Ambazonia activists intensifies as fighting rages on in NW, SW



Security forces have reportedly intensified crackdown on suspected activists or sympathizers to the Ambazonia independence struggle.  

As the crisis that has been rocking the North West and South West regions, which has spiraled into an armed conflict, rages on, security operatives have been indiscriminately arresting Anglophone activists and suspected activists.

This has caused many of them to flee into hiding and the whereabouts of many is not known.

Sources say the arrested activists are being tortured and detained under horrendous and inhuman conditions. Some have reportedly died in detention.

It is worth recalling that the Anglophone crisis, something that pundits say had been brewing for several years, boiled over in October 2016 when Common Law Lawyers in the North West and South West regions went on strike, paralyzing the courts. They were demanding for a return to the federal system of government, redeployment of Civil Law Magistrates back to Civil Law Courts among other grievances. Not long after, teachers in the North West and South West regions also went on strike, demanding the redress of several issues concerning the English sub-system of education.

Things got worse when concerned citizens in the North West and South West regions, who had been fed up with the unfavourable political and especially economic stagnation of Cameroon at large, but more importantly in these regions, joined the strike.

But after negotiations with the teachers and lawyers ended in deadlock, the government banned the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, CACSC. Some of the leaders of the Consortium such as Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho and Dr. Fontem Niba were immediately arrested while others such as Barrister Bobga Harmony and Tassang Wilfred fled into hiding.  

But as the crackdown on the activists escalates, several cases have been reported.

One of such cases is that of Yenika Jude Yongye, a young southern Cameroon activistwho is reported to have gone underground for fear of being arrested.

He is reported to have arrived Cameroon on September 11, 2019 after spending over three years in Belgium, from where he was actively involved in the struggle for the Independence of the state of former southern Cameroon now being referred to as Ambazonia.

Upon his arrival in Bamenda, his place of origin, security forces, we gathered immediately launched a manhunt to trap him down. Following a hint, Yenika Jude is said to have fled the town for safety. His exact whereabouts has since remained unknown though we gathered he might have moved to a neighboring country.

Yenika’s activism dates back to several years. In 2016 before leaving Cameroon, we gathered that he was amongst a group of young Southern Cameroon National Council, SCNC members who had organized several meetings in Bamenda to front the restoration of the statehood of Ambazonia. He has since been targeted for arrest. Yenika Jude was reportedly listed amongst other young southern Cameroon activists targeted for arrest including Njofri Belmond, Wayula George….

It would be recalled that leaders of the Anglophone separatist movements including Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and nine others, who were arrested in Abuja, Nigeria in January 2018 and later extradited to Yaounde were in August 2019, handed life jail sentences.

It is worth noting that many people, both civilians and security forces, have been killed in the crisis, many more internally displaced and over 30,000 have fled to neighbouring Nigeria where they are living as refugees.

While the Anglophone crisis continues to escalate, International Organisations and other Western powers have called on the Government to address the root cause through dialogue.

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