BY LUSY LIMA
The Anglophone crisis that started with separate strikes by common law lawyers and teachers of English speaking extraction in 2016 has degenerated in an armed conflict, with tension raging in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon. In spite of several calls for protagonists to give peace a chance, kidnapping, killing,wanton arrests and detention, as well as the burning down of villages and property have taken centre stage, with accusations and counter accusations being the order of day. The crisis,now turned civil war, has recorded multiple deaths on both sides of the divide.
While the Yaoundé administration is accused of giving deaf ears to possible solutions to the conflict, the separatists have remained adamant to realizing complete secession. This, at a time when official figures indicate hundreds of thousands are internally displaced and tens of thousands more seeking refuge in neighbouring Nigeria.
Meantime, the government is bent on tracking and cracking down on those considered ‘agents of destabilization’, who are usually charged with treason, terrorism,insurrection, propagation of false information and possessions of the identification document of the imaginary state of Ambazonia. Government forces have embarked on sporadic raids in the Northwest and Southwest regions of the country. Such actions have been extended to Cameroonians abroad who are, by some reasons, considered part of the separatist group or enemies of the state.
Recently, two Southern Cameroon National Council, SCNC, activists from South Africa, Ndeh Devine and Ambe Edward, were arrested upon arrival at the Yaoundé International Airport before remanded at the Kondengui maximum security prison, still in the nation’s capital.
On March 9, 2020, a group of SCNC members in the UK , among whom were Robert Tamanji, Ivo Kuka, William Fonya, Royce Buh Meh- Kah, and Emmanuel Foncham, staged a protest at the parliamentary square in London, calling for Cameroon to be kicked out of the Common Wealth of Nations. The demonstrators carried placards with messages such as; “we want independence”, “we demand justice”, “stop the
genocide in Southern Cameroon” etc. Security sources in London hinted that two of the activists; Ivo Kuka and Emmanuel Foncham were arrested during the protest by the London metropolitan police on the Victoria Street SW1. The International community has times, without number blamed the government of Cameroon for atrocities and rights abuses.