It was frightening and seemingly an expected gun battle considering how the governor was dressed for the trip and the level of security accompanying the top boss of the region and sends a distress signal down the spines of authorities in Yaoundé as the so-called Ambazonian defense forces mustered the courage to historically launched an armed attacked on the Governor of South West region’s convoy as he travels to Meji, Lebialem division to install the newly appointed senior divisional officer
In a two part video circulating online, the Equinoxe TV South west regional correspondent Eric Jato who was onboard the convoy to Menji detail the attack and how the country’s elite security forces BIR fought gallantly to prevent the governor and his team from becoming the biggest and newest hostages in the hands of the increasingly violent separatists forces whom the government considers terrorists.
In the videos, the Governor of the South West who has been heavily criticized in some quarters for his tough handedness of the conflict was bullet proof protected and a military helmet worn on his head as his security details must have warned the boss of the region of the impending security challenges in that part of the country.
Led by the country’s rapid Intervention battalion, Cameroon’s elite security forces, the convoy was trailed and directed by an armored vehicle to the town of Menji, and the military constantly surveyed the area for armed groups as the motorcade drives pass nearby bushes before being attacked.
Armed groups surfaced from nearby bushes nonetheless and rained bullets on the convoy before they were quickly repelled by the combat-ready military.
With state of the art military equipment, the convoy stopped regularly to survey the eras and ensure it was safe whenever they moved into nearby bushes. That however did not prevent the separatists’ forces from launching a bold and daring attack even through no person was reportedly hurt.
In a shaky and distressful video filled with sounds of bullet, Mr Jato recounts the battled as the country’s defense forces fought professionally to keep the team safe. The governor successfully reached his destination
The Governor finally reaches Menji a place the journalists says “Menji is now having the picture of a war zone” and installs the new senior divisional officer ETA MBOKAYA ASHU in a ceremony void of persons and dance groups as it is traditionally the case and headed back to the regional capital through the West region where his convoy was attacked again.
The Journalist recounts that the second attack took place as they were ascending Lewo village and it was even more intense than the first even though the country’s military fought back and prevented any casualties and the armed groups ran back to their hideouts in nearby bushes.
There was no report in the video if any of the militant was killed by the country’s security forces
The recent attack has quickly made rounds on social media as this is the first time the armed men are launching an attack against a government official of the governor’s portfolio
The Anglophone crisis has gradually moved to an armed conflict between government forces and separatists who have kidnapped government officials in the past, killed some and taken ransomed for the safe release of others
The government continues to maintain that it will not dialogue with terrorists or those who want to divide the country as the two years crisis continues to bite and leave the regions in uncertainty
Editorial: Anglophone crisis is in purgatory
When the government delegate of the crisis-hit Bamenda City Council took the unusual step to beg his population on bended knees to end the crisis yesterday October 22nd, 2019, many saw it as another comic action from a senior government official who knows what to do to end the crisis but chooses a political theater
For keen observers of the now infamous Anglophone crisis, Vincent Ndumu’s action might reflect the reality on the ground-a government basically on its knees but adamant to continue a senseless war for interests far bigger than Yaoundé.
The three year’s war has ravaged the economy of the country not least the two English speaking regions of North West and South West.
More than 3000 billion francs CFA has been lost, hundreds of businesses closed and CDC-Cameroon’s second-largest employer after the state is a mockery of its former self as repeated attacks on its workers by armed groups has forced the corporation to shut down close to 90% of production capacity, sending tens of thousands to the employment world
Cameroon’s economy is on its knees and Bamenda City is the hardest hit. For a city which was already suffering from punitive neglect from the Yaoundé controlled government before the crisis, it was no surprise therefore that one of the immediate courses of the crisis was the protest by Mancho Bibixy over the state of roads in the city back in 2016.
His coffin revolution at the Bamenda City Chemist roundabout sparked a region wide protest which quickly spread across the two regions.
Many have died and many continue to die, in fact we have lost counts of the death but estimates put it at more than three thousands most of whom are civilians.
Hundreds of thousands have been displaced internally and in neighboring Nigeria and more than 200 villages burnt to ashes according the CHRDA.
Cameroon, once an island of peace in a turbulent central African region suddenly looks in tatters as its political leaders snail-walk their way to finding lasting solutions to a historic problem threatening the unity of the nation they swore to uphold.
After resisting calls at home and abroad to end the war which is driving thousands to die in high seas along US Mexico border, radicalizing more youths at home and displacing millions, President Biy finally called for major national dialogue during a rare address to the nation on September 1th 2019
After the 5 days major national dialogue organized by government and boycotted by separatists concluded in Yaoundé on October 4th, 2019, many are even more confused as to the fate of impoverished Anglophones as it is fast becoming clear that even the half-baked solutions and efforts were intended to shrug off international pressure rather than end the conflict,
President Biya quickly jetted out of the country immediately after the summit to brief France-te country’s colonial master about its outcome, brushing calls by US, EU and separatist leaders for yet another more inclusive dialogue out of the country’s borders to find lasting solutions to the crisis.
But as politics play out in Yaoundé and other western capitals, many continue to die and local administrators in the regions are increasingly under attack.
Governor Lele of North West, the New SDO of Bui all came under attack by separatists fighters this week in the North West regions even as government struggles brandish serene Anglophone regions
The Dismissal of about 16 ENAM grads last week by MINAT boss Paul Atanga Nji for refusing to report to work after their appointments in the restive northwest region further reveals the growing discontent even with the ruling class about the security situation in a region government says it’s under control
There have been multiple reports of fighting between government forces and armed Ambazonian fighters across the regions, leaving many dead as the population continues to pray and hope for an end to a crisis they suddenly they have no say about its directions.
National Dialogue: Biya puts Dion Ngute at the crossroads of Cameroon’s history
Many have dubbed him the country’s “luckiest” prime minister as Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute is tasked with the responsibility to find lasting solutions to the Anglophone crisis-a historical problem which now threatens to return the country to pre-independence border.
Brought in during the latest cabinet shakeup earlier this year, the former minister was considered a surprise pick for the job. The South West born premier has been tasked with arguably the toughest and indeed exciting job in history.
Dion Ngute’s fate certainly rests with the success or failure of the planned dialogue but at the same time provides the seasoned diplomat the unique opportunity to create some of the best chapters in the country’s political history.
Prime Minister Dion Ngute has been busy ever since President Biya undercut his ministers and announced a surprise national dialogue. The move has been welcomed by the International community and different political actors at home
In a race against time, the premier who is tasked with chairing the dialogue has been holding different level consultations with opposition leaders, activists and different stakeholder within the contest of preparing the framework of the much-anticipated dialogue
Dialogue like no other
But Dion Ngute will be chairing a dialogue which centers on the survival of the country he now oversees its operations—at least on paper.
The Anglophone crisis which has gone violent for three years now has been a historical problem of the country ever since independence.
The Anglophones have systematically complained of marginalization and discrimination in the dominant French-speaking union. Independence fathers west of the Mungo have tried and failed in the past.
This is not the first time the country will be converging under the umbrella of the Anglophone problem to chart a common course.
But previous meetings by Fonchas, Munas, and others have failed to resonate within political elites of the country at that time had to prioritize national unity over bi-cultural values of the two people who agreed to reunite in 1961.
But despite the warning shots from independence fighters about the cracks emerging from our unity, the government has failed to implement most of the measures many believed would have gone a long way to avert the crisis.
But a three years crisis which has drawn the attention of the International community killed thousands displaced hundreds of thousands and seen many villages razed has forced the government to reconsider its position as the pressure keeps mounting at home and abroad.
Dion Ngute will be chairing a meeting, many say should be the bedrock of the future of one and unified Cameroon, strengthened by its diversity and people.
Dion Ngute has been given one of the most difficult job description ever handed to any of his predecessors in recent memory, it is left the “nyanga boy” as he is fondly called to decide how he would love to be remembered by history.
Editorial: Biya flashes Amba light…..at last.
In a highly awaited speech announced for September 10th 2019, the President of the republic Paul Biya has shocked many.
In one of his longest speeches as president since he took over office more than 36 years ago, the 86 years old focused on the Anglophone crisis ravaging the North West and South West regions
In his introductory note, the president regrets the killing by armed separatists, kidnaps and torture in the three years crisis.
For the first time since the crisis started, the commander in chief also gave his heart felt condolences to all the families affected during the crisis which he said has forced “thousands of our population to live in other regions and neighboring countries”
The President who has been blamed for the poor handling of the crisis moved to familiar territory, enumerating numerous measures he believes his government has taken to resolve the crisis which began as strike led by teachers and lawyers in 2016
In his long list of measures reminiscent to a campaign speech, he mentioned the discontinuance of judicial proceedings to over 200 persons, his offer for armed groups to lay down arms and the creation of national disarmament and rehabilitation committee among other achievements.
“We will continue to make the necessary efforts to fully materialize these efforts” he adds
But in a speech were many where pregnant with expectations of a big announcement, the president in all honesty failed to deliver once again on the national stage
Opposition leader Maurice kamto and all political prisoners arrested and incarcerated were ignored entirely in the speech
President Biya refutes any claims of marginalization within his government, touting the appointment of prime ministers from Anglophone regions for close to a generation now
Grand dialogue announced
In what could have been a glimmer of hope for the long night, the president announced a massive dialogue which has been describe as panacea to finding lasting solutions to the crisis.
President Biya says all sons and daughters of the republic will be called upon to participate in the dialogue to find lasting solutions in the country. The dialogue according to him will be chaired by the prime minister, rallying lawmakers, business leaders, security forces, armed groups and victims of the crisis among others.
Why the dialogue will be seen as a welcome move by many back in the Anglophone regions who have long clamored for any dialogue of this kind, the terms of the dialogue will certainly fail to please hardliners who say any such dialogue must take place out of the borders of the country and chaired by a third party.
Long speech, nothing new
In all, the president said nothing new in the highly awaited speech, touting regular phrases and achievements many believed was meant for International audience and CPDM supporters.
President Biya also failed to grant the much clamored amnesty to prisoners involved in the crisis, and rather intensifies his advocacy for a one and indivisible Cameroon, a statement critics perceives as a provocation to the separatists
For those who were expecting general amnesty, the President was clear, no one should be deceived that criminal acts would be pardon just to advance dialogue, he said, and made it sufficiently clear that perpetrators of violence abroad will face justice in no time as he slaps the wrong people and embrace the right ones
He however says that after the grand dialogue, a presidential pardon might be rollout to those incarcerated on certain conditions, while insisting that any such dialogue must take place within the constitution of the republic and the country.
Speaking to CRTV after the speech, the revered Catholic cardinal, Christian Cardinal Tumi who has been a vocal critic of the regime says he is positive with the announced dialogue, urging the prime minister to take all measures to ensure it’s a success
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