Anglophone crisis: Youths caught in the web

NEWS 17 Mar 2020
Anglophone crisis:  Youths caught in the web

BY CYNTHIA AKUM

Many youths in the English-speaking North West and South West regions are reported to be entangled due to the Anglophone crisis that has been raging on since 2016. Cases abound and Cameroon is no longer a safer place for them.
The life of a 35- year-old holder of a Bachelors degree in English Private Law from the University of Yaounde is very uncomfortable due to the crisis.

Youths fleeing
The crisis has become too intense, forcing youths to flee to safer grounds. Moreover, the government has opened up investigations on others considered to be separatist fighters and their suits are pending at the Yaounde Military Court with terrorism charges against them.
The case of Acha Alain Njogho from Batibo in the North West Region whose whereabouts is unknown since April 2019 is now talking point. His law suit is amongst those pending at the Yaounde Military Court. There’s every indication that if he is seen in Cameroon is jail term will be heavy just like other suspected separatist fighters arrested in connection with the crisis.
The military raided Batibo in February 2018 and burnt his father’s residence, leaving his mother dead by a stray bullet. This incident forced many youths to flee while others were arrested and detained.
Reports hold that, Acha Alain’s father, Acha George, was taken aback when he received a document from State Security stating that his son, Acha Alain Njogho, is an Ambazonia fighter and that he should produce him at their service.
This, according to eyewitnesses, made Acha Alain’s father to end up dying in the forest in November 2018, rather than handing his son to the military.
The Solicitor of Acha’s family, Barrister Acha Anong Jude, equally holds the view that the military is likely the reason why Acha Alain Njogho’s whereabouts still remains cloudy due to anonymous calls he has been receiving.
The Anglophone crisis that started with the Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone teachers’ strike on the marginalisation of the Anglophones in 2016 has gradually escalated into an armed conflict.

Acha Alain Njogho under military searchlight his alleged involvement in the Anglophone crisis

Acha Alain Njogho under military searchlight his alleged involvement in the Anglophone crisis

As tension rages on now for close to three years in the restive the North West and South West regions, several calls have been made for all the protagonists to embrace peace for a better and new Cameroon. But things seem to have fallen on deaf ears as the armed conflict between the separatist fighters and the defence forces rages on with multiple deaths recorded on both sides and houses razed to the ground, villages burnt down and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, keep increasing.
The government and the military over the years re sparing no effort in tracking down those considered as the agents of the destruction of Cameroon. Charges such as propagation of false information, rebellion, revolution, secession, insurrection and non-possession of National Identity card have been proffered against them. Even those abroad considered as activists preaching against the marginalisation of Southern Cameroons by the Yaounde regime have equally been declared enemies of the State of Cameroon and have been tagged for prosecution.
Report of a survey released by a group of Human Rights Organisations in Cameroon indicates that the lives of activists of Anglophone extraction are now in danger.
Recent statistics by civil society organisations reflect the extent of the damage with horrific numbers. The death toll is on the rise while there are claims that about 200 villages have been burnt down in the two regions, and some 430,000 people remain internally displaced with thousands of English-speaking Cameroonians having fled to neighbouring Nigeria where they are living as refugees.

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