BY LUSY LIMA
The Government of Cameroon has been restless since the outbreak of the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West regions. It should be recalled that what started as a peaceful demonstration by Common Law lawyers and Anglophone teachers decrying marginalization of Anglophones by the dominant Francophones in 2016, has degenerated in to full scale war characterised by extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate arrest and detention of innocent civilians, and the burning of houses and villages forcing many to relocate to safer zones in and out of the country.
Reports indicate that about 4000 civilians’ lives have been claimed by the arm conflict, and about 800000 displaced with many living in horrible conditions in neighbouring Nigeria. Human Rights Watch have documented multiple abusive counter insurgency operations by security forces in the two restive regions since 2017, which its Central Africa Director Lewis Nudge has never failed to condemn. He described the Ngarbuh Massacre where the military, with the assistance of 30 armed fulani militiamen stormed the village and killed 21 civilians including 13 children and a pregnant woman as a prime example of the impunity for Cameroon Security forces.
As the war rages on in the two restive regions, many have observed that the military is targeting mostly those whose relations are living abroad, and individuals suspected to be alleged separatist fighters. The government is reported to have released a fresh list of many more separatist activists, and has launched a man hunt for them for apprehension, persecution and prosecution.
The situation of Ambili Samson and Amin Fabrice Mbeacho is still fresh. Reports say the leader and coordinator of all organised demonstrations against the repressive Yaoundé regime in Malende village, Meme Division-South West Region, Ambili Samson, has been declared wanted.
According to sources from Malende, one of the most hit villages in the ongoing arm conflict, before Samson escaped to Douala in May 2018, he had organised a protest demonstration against the celebration of the National Youth Day scheduled for February 11, 2018. The demonstration that turned bloody with many youths arrested and taken to Yaoundé, some injured and houses razed to the ground by the military. While Ambili’s younger brother was shot by the military in an attempt to arrest Ambili, his parents were equally gun down in the confrontation. With reports that their residence in Malende village was in constant military surveillance, in search of him, Ambili sneaked out of the Country, The Sun gathered.
As we went to press, reports from Malende say the military made an impromptu check in Ambili’s family residence and raped his elder sister and promised to eliminate Ambili Samson any time he is spotted in Cameroon. They (the military) are said to have also razed their family residence and shot his elder brother to death, leaving behind a widow and children who are still living in fear.
The case of Amin Fabrice Mbeacho is another very pathetic one. This son of a Kumba-based traditional doctor has been a victim of continuous detention, abduction, illegal arrest, detentions, torture, and inhumane treatment since 2017.
One of such arrests was May 2017 on the side line of a peaceful protest against the marginalisation of Anglophones. It took about a week to discover that both of them were detained at the military cell on the outskirts of Kumba. According to a family lawyer, Amin Fabrice was granted bail after serious negotiations, and admitted in hospital following the molestation and inhumane treatment, he received while in detention.
Family sources revealed that while Amin and father were receiving treatment, at the hospital, the military after razing their Kosala II residence to the ground, stormed the hospital arresting patients with traces of fresh wounds. This incident caused Amin to escape and news only filtered several months that he was in Lebang-Fontem, Lebialem Division, another restive town in the Anglophone Region.
While his close friends were in jubilant mood that Amin Fabrice Mbeacho was alive, news filtered weeks later that he has again been arrested by the military and was detained at the Fontem production prison awaiting trial. This news forced the family lawyer to embark on a journey to Fontem to secure his release. Unfortunately when he arrived Fontem he couldn’t find Amin and nobody was ready to give him any clarification about his where-about. The Lawyer only concluded that Amin must have been beaten to death by the military.
A few weeks later, while at the police station in Kumba, the family lawyer discovered two photographs of Amin Fabrice Mbeacho with different backgrounds posted on the walls of the building with the writing “wanted separatist activist”.
At Press time, the search for separatist activists had intensified, with military the frequently carrying out impromptu raids in the neighbourhoods of pro Separatist activists to apprehend and subsequently persecute and prosecute for frame up charges of secession and revolution.