WAR IN AMBAZONIAN:THE REASON FOR THE FAILURE OF CAMEROON MILITARY
Neither the government nor separatist groups intend to dialogue according to Tanda Theophilu
Tanda Theophilus is a researcher for the NGO International Crisis Group (ICG). He believes that neither the government nor the separatist groups intend to engage in dialogue today, a step that he believes is essential for the situation to improve.
Tanda Theophilus : We are clearly faced with a multitude of distinct groups, but they cooperate from time to time. Recently, these groups are fighting each other, which further weakens the separatist party in favor of the advancing army.
We have seen the interim government of Ambazonia issue orders to kidnap a fighting fighter in the Moungo department who has been detained for months, which facilitated the advancement of the Cameroonian army that was able to kill the Ambazonian General, Amigo. This makes us face a multitude of groups who kill each other, who can not get along.
How to explain that the army has not so far managed to annihilate these groups?
Already there is the control of the ground. They have encampments in the forest. They hit and they return to the bush or the forest. The support of the population makes the task equally difficult for the army. It would have been beneficial for the army and the state in general to initiate measures of appeasement and seduction of the population. But so far, it is this same population that manages to survive the separatists.
On November 30, 2018, the Cameroonian President signed a decree launching a disarmament-demobilization-reintegration (DDR) process. Where are we a month later?
There were some steps, not necessarily spectacular. But until then, the committee in question is not yet fully operational, or we do not yet see this committee acting.
Do you think this can still be a solution or part of the solution?
It’s part of the solution if it’s sincere. The army should stop the abuse of the population, especially the civilian population, to build a certain degree of confidence.
In the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, many have not been able to celebrate the transition to the New Year as they would have liked. The violence related to the crisis is almost daily as in Bamenda. Late last week, an army corporal was abducted and killed.
No crowd in the streets to celebrate the New Year this December 31 in Bamenda, in the Cameroon and English-speaking region of North-West. Even though the curfew was lifted for the holiday season, not many people venture out after dark.
Fon Nsoh, who lives in Bamenda, explains that the exchange of fire is almost daily. “It happens so often that shots are usually not reported,” he says. We only talk about it if they are particularly violent or if there are deaths. The inhabitants here are very careful because here everything can happen between armed groups and law enforcement at any time. “
Conflict to watch in 2019
The violence is also daily in the other English-speaking region of Cameroon, the Southwest. The armed group Socadef, active in this area, reminds that the only possible solution is political. But his boss still demands to negotiate in the presence of an international body or a foreign country and wants the discussions to take place outside Cameroon. This option is not considered by the Yaoundé authorities.
The security situation has deteriorated in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon during the past year. International Crisis Group estimates that at least 500 civilians and more than 200 members of the security forces have been killed since the violence began. The NGO considers, moreover, that this Anglophone crisis is the
This crisis was widely discussed on December 31 by the president in his speech of wishes. Paul Biya said he was aware of the consequences for the population and again called on the separatist groups to lay down their arms.