Population paying the price for unrest in Anglophone Cameroon

NEWS 18 Mar 2019
Population paying the price for unrest in Anglophone Cameroon

By Chris Aghaa

Fighting between Cameroon’s regular army and Anglophone independence fighters has left so many civilians trapped in the conflict. As events unfold, tensions are mounting as the two parties battle for legitimacy. This has led to a mass exodus from the conflict-hit regions to safer cities mostly Douala, Bafoussam and Yaounde.

The situation has remained stiff as both parties show strength, forcing the population to a dilemma as they no longer know what to believe anymore. The government is still to call for the much talked about dialogue that is highly awaited to put an end to the long lasting rift.

It was in late 2016 that Common Law Lawyers took to the streets a peaceful strike action against perceived attempts by the government to annihilate Common Law heritage in a constitutionally bilingual, bicultural and bi-jural Cameroon. Teachers in the country’s North West and South West Regions joined the lawyer’s peaceful strike same period, to also protest what they said were attempts to dilute the Anglo-Saxon educational system in favor of a French system. But the government in an attempt to stop these strike actions instead beat, maimed, arrested and shot at unarmed lawyers and teachers.

Since then, matters have gone worst, especially after the arrest of Barrister Agbor Nkongho, Dr. Fontem Neba and others considered to be moderates at the time. The events soon slipped into the hands of activists in the diaspora who have since shifted from talking to endorsing an armed rebellion to restore what they say is their independence and statehood.

It is in the same like that Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and other leaders of the pro-independence front otherwise seen as activists were arrested on January 5, 2018 in Abuja-Nigeria and illegally extradited to Cameroon. The search for many other activists has been on. The likes of Eric Tataw, Tapang Ivo, Mark Bareta, Chris Anu, Ayaba Cho Lucas and lots more have been declared wanted by government.

Members of the banned Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) that has long advocated for the force of argument to get Cameroon’s North West and South West into an independent state are also facing the law.

The story of Vincent Njikang Ngoe, a member of the outlawed SCNC who was among those who fell in the security dragnet in April 2018 in Limbe, has been revealed. He was among the many who have been clamouring for the restoration of the independence of the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon otherwise referred to as Southern Cameroons or Ambazonia.

Our investigations revealed that Vincent Njikang Ngoe who came from abroad last April 2018 to bury his grandfather was napped. He is said to have escaped detention under unclear circumstances, as mentioned by the security forces, and his whereabouts is still unknown. His family home in Limbe and Nyasosso has since been raided, and that of Nyasosso is reported to have been burnt down with his uncle, Kome Pius trapped inside and burnt alive. His parents have since escaped for safety. Barely few weeks after his uncle was burnt alive in Nyasosso, Vincent lost another member of his family last Monday 11th and reports are still unclear as to the cause of his sudden dead. But rumours are directed to the non-disclosure of Vincent’s whereabouts. These and many others are cases of people who may never be seen again as the conflict in the restive regions persists.

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