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.
Adeline Nsabou a mother of one from Kumba, South West Region, is in trouble because her family has been tagged by the Yaounde Regime as part of the secessionist group “aimed at destabilising the country”. Her two brothers have already been labelled as Ambazonians because of their involvement in the Southern Cameroons self-determination struggle. Because of this, their family residence in Kumba was razed to the ground in July 2019 by the military, thus forcing them to go to the bushes for safety and their whereabouts is still cloudy.
This move has played a great deal in the life of Adeline Nsabou, who, for fear of been arrested by military, finds it difficult to came back to Cameroon.
Reports say Nsabou is under police searchlight just like most other Southern Cameroonians in the Diaspora for financing separatist movements and groups who are clamouring for the restoration of the statehood of Southern Cameroons.
It should be recalled that Adeline Nsabou, a member of the Social Congregation in her Church got married to Tshiamala Tonka, a Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, national in 2015. Just two years into their marriage while in DRC, she became a victim of domestic violence. Her husband subjected her and son to inhumane treatment. Reports say these unhealthy treatments meted on her by her husband forced her to seek spiritual counseling from their Pastor, but all these fell on deaf ears of her husband.
The only way to stay safe was to relocate out of DRC and thanks to the Pastor of her Church she left DRC in August 2019.
However, Cameroon wasn’t a safer place for her because of the crisis especially as her family had already been labelled, together with her as enablers of the self-determination efforts of the people of Southern Cameroons commonly referred to as Ambazonia.
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.
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.