Ambazonia’s ‘General’ Ivo Killed – Who Next?

He has been one of the most valiant faces since the crisis in the English-Speaking Regions of Cameroon turned into violent conflict. He made videos from an office in a school, which was subsequently captured by the Cameroon military.

In some of his earlier videos, he appeared to be the voice of reason, calling on others to unite and avoid attacking other English-Speaking Cameroonians. However, as would be expected in a situation where he received his orders from a Commander who was many thousand miles, his wishes did not always translate into real action. No unity ever arrived. Rather, rumours began emerging of how ‘General’ Ivo was going around kidnapping other soldiers.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The tales were soon reversed and it emerged that Ivo had also been the victim of an attack from other Ambazonian fighters. In one of his most recent videos, he made the case that since his rifle was taken away from him, there has been an increase in the number of casualties on the Ambazonian forces. He was, therefore, implying that if he had his weapons, things would be much different.

With Ivo constantly appearing on live videos, it was only a matter of time, before his location was exposed. Hence, it came as little surprise when the Ambazonia Governing Council Secretary of State announced that Ivo had been killed. In a short message shared on social media, he wrote:

😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡
BREAKING SAD NEWS

This is sad indeed. Unfortunately, our one and strongest ADF General Ivo is no more. He was Killed this morning in KUMBA. I’m short of words to say the least Now and how I feel. He was indeed the greatest soldier Ambazonia ever had.

There’ll be an official statement to this effect soon
May your soul RIP & Rest in Perfect Peace BRAVEHEART

Sec of State

There is as yet, no indication, as to who might have killed Ivo. It could either be the military, or one of the many ‘enemies’ he has made during his short career as a fighter.

Whatever the case, this is just one of many young people who has needlessly lost his life in what is turning to be mayhem for English-speaking Cameroonians. The real architect of the problem and the person with the power to resolve the conflict has been untouched by any of the things happening in the English-Speaking Regions.

85 Year-old Dictator Paul Biya has not engaged with the conflict in any of his official statements. The recent formation of a Commission for Disarmament appears to be as useless as all the other commissions before it. Without a call for dialogue and an effective cease-fire, it is not clear how the disarmament commission can operate.

It should be noted that a number of prisons were attacked and prisoners released in parts of the North West Region of Cameroon when the conflict was still in its infancy. It is, therefore, safe to assume that many of the ex-convicts, joined in the fighting, and became tagged generally as Ambazonian fighters.

As the conflict protracts, kidnappings for ransom have become rampant. Recently it has emerged that some of the ‘leaders’ in the diaspora are colluding with their groups in Cameroon to kidnap people for ransom. Many people who can afford it have either fled the country or gone over to the French-speaking areas of Cameroon.

There appears to be only one solution to the crisis – a political one. And this solution, from every indication, would not come from Paul Biya, who has shown time and again, to have no will to resolve the conflict. It is time all Cameroonians united to demand that the dictator leaves power, to pave the way for a new political dispensation that can resolve the conflict and stop the mindless killings.

 

Appeal to the Amba Boys (Separatist Fighters) In Nso – NW, #Cameroon

My dear brothers, we have got to talk. As you have seen the devastation of the army operation in Nso land has been terrible. A lot of innocent people have been killed and like I pointed out not even Tchiroma can make a case that those killed were amba sympathisers or terrorist. The 78 -year-old Pa Yuven killed in cold blood near his house cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to have been an amba supporter. He was just an old man who could not run when soldiers came shooting.

Bridge between Bamali and Ndop
The bridge linking Bamali and Bamunka allegedly cut by Separatists. This is the main link to Nso from Bamenda

As we speak close to 100 houses have been burnt down in Nso and there are signs that neither the burning of houses nor the killing is going to stop soon. This means our people are facing a terrible Christmas period. As you also know each time the army comes to have their fun in a neighbourhood people abandon their houses and escape into the bushes, in other villages and towns with children and sick family members. But not everybody has escaped the burnt towns, villages and neighbourhoods.

There are sick people who cannot go to the hospital and there are old people like Pa Yuven who cannot run each time the army comes calling. These old people will like to leave the towns or villages but they cannot. Some of them have remained as they only person in their houses even though they have no food and cannot even go out to buy provisions.

My dear brothers some of the problems our people are now facing is made worse by the actions of amba soldiers. At the beginning of last week, before things degenerated with the killing of the two princes, the small market at level land went open and women especially came out with their small wares to sell. vegetables, cabbages, beans, potatoes etc. A contingent of BIRS came there and as they approached the market people panicked and started moving away fast. The BIRS actually assuaged their fears and told them to continue buying and selling. Then they left. As soon as the BIRS were gone, amba boys came and fired in the air which attracted the BIRS back who came back shooting and that was the end of the market as people scattered in panic. There was no reason to disrupt this market, just as there is no reason why Kumbo has no portable water today and the roads are blocked making it impossible for medicines and other provisions from reaching Nso.

Your blocking the roads has not stopped the military from entering Nso and doing whatever they want. Instead, I am told by a lot of people that the amba checkpoints in Melim, Sob, Nkar and Wainamah now charge three times more than the amount the gendarmes used to take from drivers. So, my dear Brothers, you are making it even worse for our people, your own people who are trapped in Nso and cannot move because most cannot afford to pay you the exorbitant amounts you are charging for them to get through. Whatever you do please open up the road to Bamenda.

There are thousands of people in Nso who are HIV positive or who need insulin injections for their kidneys who are slowly dying because the drugs cannot come in from Bamenda. Especially for HIV positive persons, they will become resistant to the drugs they are using. Once that happens they cannot get the new drugs against that resistance. They exist but they are 30 times more expensive than what is commonly used now in Cameroon. You might not see this but in the end, your actions will be responsible for killing more of our people than the army has done.

It makes no sense.

As sons of the soil, I am begging you to open up the road to Bamenda and set our people free. Let those who do not have houses now because of the actions of the military leave and go to family members. And for heaven’s sake let provisions and medicines come through. The disruption of businesses serves no military purpose except to instil a reign of terror. What else will you do once everybody becomes impoverished?

Kidnapped Students and the Failure of Governance in Cameroon

After news broke about the kidnap of students of PSS Nkwen purportedly by Ambazonian fighters a lot of rumours has been circulating as to the whereabouts of the students. The video not only showed the face of one of the kidnappers but an attempt was made on Facebook to immediately link the face to one army officer – Mveng Rostand Armel. All of that simply confuses the facts of a case that is beginning to sound even more Kafkaeisk than we are used to from Cameroon.

rts24yjb

I have succeeded in talking to the parents of one of the boys in the Video today and I won’t say which one but this is what seemed to have happened fro the point of view of the parents.
1) The children were not kidnapped yesterday or the day before but had been kidnapped on the 30’th of October.
2)The school had on their own decided to negotiate with the kidnappers and apparently had handed over some money to them. The amount of 2.5 million has been mentioned.
3) The school had apparently not informed the parents of the kidnap and most parents to their shock had simply recognised their kids in the video that went viral and went to the school to demand answers
4) The school had apparently also not contacted the police or the army because it is the experience now of everybody in the North West that once the army is brought into anything, it goes from bad to worse and people die,
5) The Governor of the North West region Mr Lele L’Afrique seemed only to have heard of this kidnap when it went viral on social media and then rushed to the school yesterday afternoon. He ordered the Vice principal, the bursar and teachers to be locked up by the police or gendarmes and all their telephones were seized. The Governor then went further and ordered the army to surround the school and cordon off the area.
6) At the same time the kidnappers holding the students said they wanted to bring them back and deliver them safely to the school as it is not their intention to hurt the students but with the school being surrounded they cannot show themselves around there because they know they will not only be shot but the children in their keeping will be killed too.
7) Contrary to what has been claimed the school was not guarded by the army
8) PSS Nkwen is special in that situated in a hidden area in Ntahsin, which is not yet very populated, the school was housing students from almost all PSS schools in the NW region because amba boys had attacked the teachers and bursars of CPC Bali, PSS Bafut and PSS Mankon. Consequently, they had transferred their students to this quiet area.
9) Having seen the video on social media parents from all over the country rushed to PSS Nkwen to try and collect their children today but the governor and the army will not allow them and was threatening the parents.
10) A bad situation developed there this afternoon with parents challenging the soldiers to shoot them if they want but that they are not leaving without their children. It got so bad that they had to bring in Ni John Fru Ndi to come and plead with the parents to go back home today and they left the school at 5 P.m promising to be back the next day for their children.
11) The parents have pleaded with the governor to send the soldiers away so that the children can be brought back safely but the governor will not hear of it and is determined to use force to solve the problem. The fear of every parent tonight is that the army is going to do something stupid and get the children killed in the crossfire or that somebody responsible for the kidnapping (whether it is amba or the army will kill the children to prevent their identity being revealed. In that case, the seizure of the telephones of the teachers of the school who have done nothing wrong and are now being held in custody speaks for itself.
12) Tomorrow promises to be a very hot day at the school campus, soldiers or no soldiers as parents and grandparents come looking for their children. Governor Lele L’Afrique needs to know that his attempt at high handedness might just possibly cost the lives of those children.

The One Thing that Scares both Ambazonians and the Biya Regime in Cameroon

The Biya Regime and Ambazonians apparently want completely different things. Their end-games are antithetical to each other, and as such, one would be right to assume that the two camps will rarely find any common ground. Ambazonians have been clear that it is ‘All or Nothing’ in their quest for independence and the Biya regime has been categorical that it is ‘all or nothing’ in their dogmas on ‘one and indivisible’ Cameroon.
Over the two years that I have followed and participated in seeking solutions to the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, I have been surprised on many occasions to find that the two camps, despite being polar opposites, tend to have a lot of similarities in their approaches.

No To Anglophone Marginalisation

An instance would be the ‘No Circulation’ or ‘No Movement’ Strategy that was instituted by the Ambazonian leadership, with the objective to stop all but essential movement within the two English-Speaking Regions. This strategy was further supported by the Biya Regime administrators in both regions, who also issued communiques, banning all but essential circulation. While the objectives of both camps might have been different, one thing they could have agreed on was that they were imposing a burden on the people of the regions and making an already difficult existence, unbearable.

The second instance was the ban on elections within the two English-Speaking regions. The Ambazonians made their position very clear, issued clear warnings and even went on to attack some persons who dared to disobey the orders. What they might not have known, or refused to acknowledge, was the fact that Biya’s declaration of war within the two regions and his refusal to resolve the crisis was aimed at also preventing people from voting. The two regions have historically been the areas Biya and his CPDM party have always struggled in elections. Given the wide discontent of the population and considering the fact that turnout in elections are always very low in other parts of the country, there was the possibility that a decision by the two regions to go out in full support of any candidate would have made the job of Biya’s rigging machinery a million times harder. That is a chance Biya and his team did not want to take. Hence, allowing the conflict to fester and causing widespread dispersal of persons, they ensured that many people, even if they wanted to, would be unable to vote. It would have been sheer glee within the Biya ranks, therefore, when Ambazonians started echoing the same sentiments. The results of the already widely contested elections is one evidence to show that both camps succeeded in one thing – keep the opposition at bay, while giving Biya and the CPDM victory in regions in which they are most hated.

The above cases are simply about strategy and outcomes, but the one thing that both camps have shown a great fear of over the years is the concept of FEDERALISM. The notion of Federalism as a solution to the Anglophone crisis seems to send cold shivers down the spines of both the Biya regime and the Ambazonians. Historically, the Two-State Federation which existed between 1961 and 1972 have on record the most developmental milestones of the English-Speaking regions. Little wonder, that scared of the fast pace at which West Cameroon was progressing economically, the Ahidjo Regime, in collusion with France, abrogated the Federal Constitution of 1961 and ended the Federal structure.

In 2016, with the resurgence of the Anglophone crisis led by Lawyers and Teachers, the concept of a return to the Two-State Federation gained prominence. Led by Barrister Agbor Felix Nkongho, the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium made it clear that only a return to Federation will guarantee a long-lasting solution to the crisis. Their message was clear, it was simple, it was appealing. It won the hearts of the masses, to the dismay and chagrin of the Biya regime, whose message of a ‘one and indivisible’ Cameroon could only be imposed on the people with the use of brute force. Efforts to bribe and cajole the pro-federalist movement failed woefully, leaving the Biya regime one option, force. The Consortium was banned, the internet was cut and the leaders were arrested and carted off to Yaounde to stand trial for treasonable offences.

The then Secretary-General of the Consortium, Wilfred Tassang, fled to Nigeria where to the surprise of many, changed the narrative to a pro-independence quest. This was surprising for many reasons, he had chosen Interim leaders in the diaspora, one of whom at the time was a known and avowed federalist. Secondly, taking such a stance seemed to provide fodder for the cannon of the Biya regime to crucify the incarcerated consortium leaders. Their lawyers promptly acted, by distancing them from the new movement. Nigeria, therefore, became the renaissance country for the Ambazonia ideology, which hitherto, had been on the fringes of Cameroon Anglophone society. Ambazonia was rebranded and sold to the English-speaking Cameroonians as the most logical progression in the freedom struggle. Statements such as ‘the train has moved’ ‘we have gone past the stage of Federation’ ‘we cannot federate with monsters’ etc.. gained prominence.

The absence of the internet within the Anglophone regions in Cameroon also helped as the people were unaware of the developments taking place in the diaspora. The formation of a body known as SCACUF, brought dinosaurs of the Anglophone struggle into the heart of leadership of the new movement. As there was no vetting process, it was impossible to ascertain who had over the years, been bought over by the Biya regime. The quest to present a united front in the face of continuous disunity meant that questions were left unasked about some of the most important things.

However, as the newly branded pro-independence train grunted and stuttered along, sometimes bereft of passengers, sometimes in the completely wrong direction, the urgent need for a captain arose. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius was chosen as the Messiah. There were a number of reasons for this; he was relatively unknown, meaning there was bound to be little or no skeletons in his cupboard; Ayuk Tabe had a good job within a university and he was soft-spoken, articulate and appeared overall to be unifying figure. This worked and the people rallied behind Ayuk Tabe and his newly-formed Ambazonia Interim Government (IG). Three reasons made this possible: there was no other viable alternative as the consortium leaders were still in jail; he was closely aligned with Tassang Wilfred, which meant people still saw in them the relics of the Consortium they had come to love and finally, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, in stark contrast to other pro-independence leaders, preached a message that was about hope rather than the doom and gloom that characterised the constant allusion to historical catastrophes that had landed the Anglophone in the current mess.

Realising the power at his disposal, Ayuk Tabe, started steering the train towards what might have led to a resolution of the crisis. Without outrightly echoing the ‘all or nothing’ independence dogma, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe appeared more to be a Federalist than a pro-independence leader. It is, therefore, no surprise that the reason circulating for the ill-fated meeting at Nera Hotel in Nigeria, which led to his and his cabinet’s abduction, has been mainly around the fact that they went there to negotiate on a Federation-outcome which would end the crisis and spare the people further suffering.

What Sisiku and his team failed to realise was that the Biya regime would have left him alone had he been fully pro-independence. Outright independence was a dog with a loud bark, but no bite, with a high potential of biting the wrong people, should it choose to do so. Federalism, however, was something the Biya regime was totally scared of and would do anything to stop it in its tracks. Before the abduction of Sisiku, the Biya regime had done a number of things to ensure that the federalism project would not resurface.

Prior to releasing Agbor Felix and Fontem Neba from jail, they circulated rumours discrediting them in the eyes of the people. When this did not work and upon his release, Barrister Nkongho hit the ground running, they fomented a torrential attack on the concept of federalism, pitching it against independence. This soon gained traction on social media and all attention soon focused on Separatists constantly attacking federalists, despite the fact the latter were practically their closest allies. With this fully in place, when Barrister Nkongho visited London, it was shocking, but not surprising to see the same people who had once chanted his ‘hosannas’, shouting ‘crucify him’. The protest against Nkongho at Chatham House, London, signifies a very low moment for the Anglophone crisis, but one that the Biya regime would forever cherish. The separatists were clearly going to do anything to stop the federalists.

Over the months that followed, many write-ups, Facebook lives and YouTube videos were made, with one focus, attack Federalism. The Biya regime relaxed. As soon as Federalist voices seemed to have been tamed for a while, the regime prodded and taunted the separatists towards the one direction they could easily go – violence. This worked and the whole Anglophone region was thrown into conflict. This, to the regime, was a win-win situation. It gave them legitimacy to wipe out any dissenting voices, while at the same time, ensuring that they (the regime) could easily mask as separatists and attack anything remotely resembling a call for federalism.

Their attack for the Anglophone General Conference initiative of Cardinal Tume and Dr. Simon Munzu amongst others, has been just one of the many ways to ensure the Federalist agenda does not resurface. The attack on Federalists instigated by Boh Herbert’s write-up and subsequent attack at their private meeting in the USA by Eric Tataw, another separatist, who clearly expressed his hatred for the federalists by stating he will not write his name on the same paper as them, even if it meant he will then be able to make his points, further accentuate the level at which they are willing to go to stop the federalists.

As one casts an eye for a sense of progress on the Anglophone, all one can see is the constant attack on Federalists, mainly by Ambazonians and this has been extended to the Francophones, who are easily working with Federalists to heap more pressure on the Biya regime. The hatred for Federalists and by extension, the francophones, has been such that many Ambazonians are openly declaring their support for Biya to stay in power, if only by so doing, they could thwart the efforts of the federalist.

If anything, this is by every indication, a very unusual alliance between the Biya regime and the Ambazonians, whose only point of convergence is their disdain for the Federalist. This, however, is understandable, given that the Federalist stands as the voice of reason within the carnage. The federalist presents the meeting point between two extremes and most importantly, the federalist approach presents the most likely prospect of success in giving autonomy to the Anglophone and bringing a close to the crisis. Why would this be a problem for the Biya regime and the Ambazonian, one may ask? This is simply, the two extremes thrive on power and control, the Biya regime loses its control of the English-speaking regions, unleashing the potential for accountability and growth. The Ambazonian leaders lose their only opportunity of attaining leadership by ascription rather than merit. The Federalist position is one in which the actors have no personal benefits other than a change in the form of the state which will usher in the devolution of power, accountability and a system of fairness where the best and brightest will lead. This, unfortunately, is something that both the Biya regime and most of the current Ambazonia leadership, do not clearly want as it will render them obsolete

How Did Samuel Ikome Sako of Ambazonia End up Representing Another Organisation at the UN?

There is no doubt that the quest for liberation of the people of the former Southern Cameroons has been riddled with many controversies. The most recent has been the claim of the faction who call themselves “Ambazonians”, that they were boycotting elections taking place in Cameroon. One ought to wonder how one gets to boycott an election of which they are not part, that wonder turns into bewilderment when the Acting Interim President of Ambazonia becomes one of the first people to send a congratulatory message to one of the candidates Maurice Kamto before official election results had been published. I for one interpreted this as a form of propaganda to force the Biya regime to capitulate, hand over power to someone else, who will take a softer and more conciliatory approach to the Ambazonia question.

The above would be good propaganda. But when there seems to be propaganda that is aimed at deceiving the people of Ambazonia, then one must of necessity question what the real motivations of Samuel Ikome Sako and his government are.

A few weeks ago, Bareta News reported a huge announcement made by Mr. Sako. He is quoted to have said:

“I would love to make that big announcement. Our nation- Ambazonia has been officially invited by the 4th committee of the united Nations concerned with decolonisation…We will be presenting our case in New York before this committee in a few days time.”

As is to be expected, this announcement brought a lot of excitement among Ambazonians, especially those who pay allegiance to the Interim Government led by Sako. I was also very intrigued and my curiosity was piqued. Could this finally be happening? Could the UN have finally decided to grant Ambazonia an audience and hopefully start a process of reconciliation and righting of past wrongs? Could this be the moment that finally brings an end to the conflict that is claiming the lives of English-Speaking Cameroonians on a daily basis?

These questions made me keep an eye out for the outcome of the Committee’s proceedings. It, therefore, came as a rude shock when I checked and found that there was a publication about the decolonisation Committee, titled “Delegates Urge Administering Powers to Take Necessary Steps for Rapid Self-Determination, as Fourth Committee Begins Decolonization Debate: President of General Assembly Highlights Commitment to Ensuring Full Independence for All Colonial Countries, Peoples” but nowhere in the documents is Ambazonia or Southern Cameroons mentioned.

I was rather surprised to find out that Mr. Sako and another Martin Ayong Ayim had presented themselves as representing interests that had nothing to do with either Ambazonia, Southern Cameroons or even the Republic of Cameroon. They were listed as representatives number 60 and 61 in a document A/C.4/73/7 titled “Question of Western Sahara: Requests for hearing”. On this document, Sako is listed as a representative of African Solidarity of Sahrawi.

According to the UN document, a representative from Cameroon had raised concerns about the presence of two individuals on the list of representatives. It, therefore, goes on to state that “Samuel Ikome Sako of Africa Solidarity for Sahrawi and Martin Ayong Ayim of Living Stories and Memories, are listed in the requests for hearings on Western Sahara.” and that “The Committee will take up those two requests later in the week following the informal consultations,”. This, therefore, raises the question of how Sako and Ayim ended up using strange organisations to represent Western Sahara? Why does the name Ambazonia or Southern Cameroons not feature anywhere in the documents? There is the indication in the documents that Sako and Ayim are representing a country without “complete knowledge of the facts,”.

It is my opinion that Sako and Ayim simply used different organisations, so as to get their names on the UN documents, as a way of providing evidence to their followers that they truly were part of the decolonisation committee. What they had not anticipated was the fact that this information would be published and made available to the public.

It is worth mentioning that Western Sahara, is a is a disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa, partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially Moroccan-occupied, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the Northeast, Mauritania to the East and South, and the Atlantic Ocean to the West.

Western Sahara or the Sahrawi, therefore have nothing in common with either Ambazonia or Southern Cameroons, safe for the fact that they are both territories clamouring for independence.

#Cameroon’s Paul #Biya Goes into Shock as Kamto Declares Victory

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya exhibited a lot of confidence in the build-up to the October 7, 2018, Presidential elections. He did not engage in any campaigning until a week to the elections when he made a single appearance in the Northern Region of the Country. This confidence could be as a result of the fact that Biya has been president for over 36 years and has been within the corridors of power for over 50 years.

 

However, as results from the elections began to filter through, indicating a victory for Maurice Kamto, the presidential candidate for the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC), Biya’s Communication Minister and Minister for Territorial Administration, quickly warned against anyone causing problems by declaring victory.

This warning was not heeded by Maurice Kamto, who braved all odds and declared himself winner during a press conference that took place in Yaounde. This unprecedented declaration has been reported to be creating a lot of tension within Cameroon.

Within the presidency, information reaching us is that Mr. Biya has been in shock over the turn of events and this has worsened following Kamto’s declaration. This is not surprising given that a few weeks ago, Biya was in Geneva Switzerland receiving medical attention. Also taking into consideration that Biya is 85 years old, such news would have been bad for his ailing health.

A source from within Biya’s ruling CPDM party has highlighted that the President has not been able to leave the country for medical attention as this would be considered a concession of defeat and an attempt to abscond. However, it is reported that medical staff from the Geneva University Hospital, who have been taking care of Biya, have been flown into Yaounde, to be on standby as his health is expected to deteriorate. The Geneva University Hospital is renowned its Stem Cells Collection and Cord Blood Banking, among other specialisations.

There is tension within the corridors of power in Yaounde as Biya is said to be highly disappointed with how his henchmen, Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary and Minister for Territorial Administration, Atanga Nji Paul, have handled the situation.

Speaking to some political analysts, we learned that Biya’s decision to declare war on the English-speaking regions and his refusal to resolve the Anglophone crisis, was a tactical one, as he was well aware of the challenges he would face in securing votes in these regions. Hence, by making sure that over 200.000 persons were either internally displaced on in Nigeria as refugees, and ensuring a high military presence, Biya guaranteed that there will be minimal or no voting within those Regions.

It, therefore, has come as a nasty surprise to him and his team, that without the participation of the two English-speaking Regions, the rest of the country was already tired of his 36 years of baren rule. Should Biya overcome this shock and regain his health, it is expected that he will fire Atanga and Tchiroma in his next cabinet reshuffle, for the failures. That is, if he succeeds if getting ELECAM and the Constitutional Council to rig the elections and declare him the winner, instead of Kamto the obvious choice of the people.

Maurice Kamto Declares Himself President-Elect of Cameroon

In an election that will go down in the history of Cameroon as one of the most controversial, it has not been short of excitement and intricacies.

With last minute coalitions that were formed, challenged by the electoral commission (ELECAM) and defended by the parties; with warnings made by the Cameroon Communication and Territorial Administration ministers as soon as polling was over; with several reports streaming in from different areas indicating that there were many irregularities; one would have thought it could not get more interesting.

However, as unofficial results made the way across social media sphere, it became obvious that Maurice Kamto, the leader of the  Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) and leader of the Coalition formed with the NOW Movement, was emerging the clear winner.

Despite the fact that Cameroonian law indicates that official announcement of results can only be made by ELECAM and the Constitutional Council, 15 days after polls, Kamto was not to wait for whatever they will declare. An announcement was therefore made by Kamto’s team about a press conference that was to take place on Monday, October 08 at 10.00am in Yaounde. This finally held a few hours later, because of the huge security presence at the initial venue.

During the press conference, Maurice Kamto declared that he had been given the mandate to kick a penalty, he kicked and a goal has been scored. Amidst large cheers from the crowds, Kamto went on to state:

I have closely followed national and international opinion regarding the elections and I am inviting the outgoing president to organize a peaceful handover! As I am involved, I guarantee him and his family a protection at the level of his status. I launch a virulent appeal to all candidates in this election to remain vigilant

Talking about the ongoing crisis in the English-speaking regions of the Country, which has effectively meant that people from those regions did not participate in the elections, Kamto promised to rebuild the villages that have been burned by the Biya regime and to pay compensations to all victims.

It is the hope of many Cameroonians that 85-year-old dictator Paul Biya, will concede victory peacefully and allow the rebuilding process to begin, especially with regards to the fractured North West and South West Regions. Some people, however, are skeptical as they wonder how the man who has been in power for most of his adult life, will suddenly hand over to someone without a fight.

It is expected, that with the ongoing tensions in the English-speaking regions, should Biya refuse to concede victory, there is a high likelihood of a nationwide crisis as supporters of Maurice Kamto will also not be giving up without a fight.

Southern Cameroonians Defy ‘Movement’ Ban – Come out Massively on October 1st

When the West Cameroon Movement for Change (WCMC) called on demonstrations to mark October 1 and all it signifies, it boldly decided that followers in Yaounde should go out and march. This was met by a naive conclusion by Cameroon’s minister for defence, which led to a published letter calling for the military to target Anglophone neighbourhoods in Yaounde. Assessing the situation, WCMC called for their followers in Yaounde to pause the demonstrations but encouraged others in other cities and countries to go ahead. One thing WCMC did not envisage was the resilience of the people within the embattled North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.

As October 1st unfolded and WCMC together with the Southern Cameroons Community UK and other frontline movements, stormed the streets of London, the fever spread across the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Videos and images began emerging as the day wore on, showing that the people had defied the orders of the Ambazonia Governing Council (AGC), the Ambazonia Interim Government (IG) and the Biya Regime’s representatives in the North West and South West Regions, who all placed a ban on public movement within the regions.

The actions of the people on the ground have shown once more, that all those purporting to be leaders are clearly out of touch with the basic realities and aspirations of their people. I already condemned the strategies, asking people not to go out, as being out of touch with the daily realities of those communities.

The outings that were accompanied in most cases by chantings and carrying of peace plants, were taken a notch higher in others, where the people came out with weapons and some hoisted the Ambazonia flag on some prominent government buildings.

As much as I continue to admire the resilience of the people, I still remain of the opinion that the hoisting of flags, the use of force in challenging the brutal military of Biya, will not take the people forward towards freedom. I maintain the opinion that the only way towards any form of freedom for the people of the English-speaking Regions and by extension for all Cameroonians, is for them to unite and oust Biya from power.

It is my hope that over the coming days, there will be some form of mass uprising as the campaign trail brings up pent-up emotions within all parts of Cameroon and the people gradually come to the realisation that unless they come together as one and demand an end to Biya’s 36 years of barren rule, they may have another 7 years added to it.

Ghost Town Claims Two Victims in Buea – Cameroon

Ghost towns were meant to be a form of civil disobedience across English-Speaking Cameroon. It was meant to force the government to stop its systematic attack on the socio-cultural values of Anglophones and treating them as second-class citizens in their own country.

However, as time has passed, ghost towns have become generating human ghosts. Two young men gave up their ghosts after being shot in broad daylight in the South West Regional Capital of Cameroon.

As the images and videos flooded social media, it became apparent, that as with many unresolved crimes being committed on a daily basis within the English-Speaking Regions, the truth of what actually happened, may never be known.

Some accounts state that the military drove by and shot the boys, one of whom has been identified to be a taxi driver. These accounts are however contradicted by some who claim that the boys were shot by renegades who felt that the victims were violating Ghost towns.

Ghost towns simply imply that no business is meant to operate on that day. This implies that people are forced to stay indoors. However, a few people do loiter around to grab some necessities, whenever they can. It will be recalled that the 17-Year-Old nursing mother, who was raped by ‘security’ personnel, also got attacked on a ghost town day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The difficulty in getting a clear account of what happened typifies the challenges that ghost towns are bringing on the population. As there are few or no persons around, these days have become fertile for illegal activities, both by hoodlums and the military, who happen to be the only ones who can dare walk about freely on such days.

In addition to the security challenges that ghost town days now pose, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what exactly to do on such days. In the same Buea for example, the Mayor has been reported to have gone out on such days to shut down businesses that are obeying the boycott and deflating the tires of taxis which are not operating. On the flip side, should these businesses and taximen choose to obey the mayor, they run the risk of being targeted by the ghost town enforcers.

The people are therefore caught in a difficult situation. It is hoped that with the up-coming elections taking place in Cameroon, there might be a change of leadership, ushering in a new president who will engage with the crisis and find a longlasting solution. Such a hope is, however, very slim, considering Biya’s history of rigging elections.

West Cameroon Movement for Change Chairperson Announces October 1, 2018, Worldwide Demonstration

October 1 means different things to every Cameroonian. To the Federalist, it is the day the Two-State Federation came into existence, therefore, marking the birth of the State of West Cameroon. To the Separatist or Ambazonian, it is the day on which their Interim President, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, declared the restoration of their independence on October 1st, 2017. To other Cameroonians, it is the day on which President Paul Biya ordered the indiscriminate massacre of many unarmed civilians in 2017, thereby plunging the country deeper into crisis. For many families in Cameroon, West of the Mungo – also known as – Southern Cameroons, West Cameroon, Ambazonia or simply Anglophone (English-Speaking) Cameroon, it is the day they will never forget as their loved ones were brutally taken away from them and their lives torn apart forever.

These issues are the core of the message delivered by the Chairman of the West Cameroon Movement for Change (WCMC), Michael Takie, on his first-ever live broadcast on their Facebook page. Mr. Takie highlighted that while the federalist is looking for the restoration of the lost dignity of the people of West Cameroon and calling for a return to the Two-State Federation; the separatist is calling for the restoration of the dignity of the people of Southern Cameroons through a clean and complete break with the Republic of Cameroon and the Ambazonian is commemorating their day of independence, one thing stands in the way of all these people – DICTATOR PAUL BIYA AND HIS REGIME.

WCMC Chairman, Michael Takie, talks to a reporter about the issues in Cameroon
WCMC Chairman, Michael Takie, talks to a reporter about the issues in Cameroon

To this end, therefore, Mr. Takie highlighted the need for all to unify and challenge the monster preventing the people from reaching their different aspirations. He argued that irrespective of what differences people have with regards to their destination, it is obvious that their journey goes along the same road, and hence, they ought to use the same vehicle and keep each other company.

Rallying together to ask that Biya leaves power and should not stand for the 7th October 2018 elections, is, according to Mr. Takie, something that serves a triple purpose. First, it liberates the whole of Cameroon from 36 years of baren rule. Secondly, it is the beginning of justice for the people who have lost their lives at the hands of Biya and thirdly, it is a step in the right direction for everyone fighting for change in Cameroon.

A demonstration across major cities and countries in the world was therefore announced. Those currently confirmed are: 

YAOUNDE – LONDON – NEW YORK – PARIS – WASHINGTON DC – BELGIUM – SOUTH AFRICA

Confirmations for other demonstrations scheduled to take place at Cameroon’s Embassies and foreign missions in other Countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas are still awaited.

While it has been established that the different countries will decide on the location for their demonstrations, the WCMC leader proposed that the targets on that day should largely be the disruption of business for all Cameroon’s foreign Missions. This is with the exception of Yaounde, where the location for the demonstration is a highlight guarded secret, which will be released shortly before the day of the demonstration.

Drawing inspiration from the people of Burkina Faso, who stood together as one and demanded the departure of Blaise Compaore, this demonstration is a call to every Cameroonian, who wants things to change, irrespective of their linguistic background or political affiliation, to come out en masse and demand an end to Biya’s monstrosity.

The WCMC has together with other frontline organisations in the UK, been at the forefront of organising demonstrations and starting petitions. It has organised demonstrations multiple times at the Cameroon High Commission in London, at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, French Embassy, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. This is the first time it is working with leaders of groups beyond the UK to organise a worldwide shutdown. WCMC believes that the main strategy to stop a dictator like Biya, remains non-violent peaceful resistance.