AMBAZONIAN FIGHTERS CURFEW BLOCKS LAWYERS OF DETAINED ANGLOPHONE LEADERS
Gunmen claiming to be separatist fighters across the restive North West and South West of Cameroon enforced a ghost town operation Tuesday, January 8, frustrating the travel plans of advocates defending leaders of the same movement before the military tribunal in Yaoundé.
The lawyers across different English-speaking cities could not travel as planned given that gunmen had paralysed traffic. In Bamenda, scores of lawyers who had planned to leave to Yaoundé were caught in the heat of a deserted city.
Over in the South West Region, scores of other advocates from Kumba who were due to travel for the same court appearance were trapped. A handful of Meme lawyers whose President, Barrister Elias Eyambe Ebai, is among those detained could not travel to Yaoundé given the threats from gunmen.
Ambazonia leader, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius and his collaborators are due to appear before the Military Court, Thursday, January 10.
Hundreds of lawyers from within and without Cameroon always show up during such appearances to defend the separatist leaders.
Ironically, the gunmen imposing and enforcing a ghost town on days other than Mondays claim they too are doing so in honour of the detained leaders as they appear in court.
Each time the leaders appear before military prosecutors, activities are grounded across the restive Regions following threats from gunmen.
Added to these, hundreds of travellers across the two Regions could not travel. Many were forced to return to their homes after spending hours at motor parks to no avail.
One of the lawyers from Meme told US on condition of anonymity that, “lawyers who are part of the legal team to defend our ‘leaders’ at the Yaoundé Military Court come January whatever date are stranded because some so called fighters and Presidents declared no movement be it inter-village or interurban from Tuesday to Friday this week until our leaders are released. Who then will enter appearance in court to submit why our leaders should be released unconditionally?” The man of law questioned.
With confusion over the duration of the ghost towns and who controls the movement, it is likely to be a difficult week for inhabitants across the two Regions. In cities such as Bamenda, movements have been grounded since Monday and the situation looks likely to continue till weekend.