Armed conflict in NW, SW: Many flee as gov’t steps up crack down on SCNC activists, others


As the crisis in the North West and South West regions, which has escalated into an armed conflict, rages on, the government has continued to target the leaders of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, and most of the self-styled ‘Generals’ of the Ambazonia separatist movement.

Most of the leaders of the SCNC and the leaders of the Ambazonia separatist movement have been arrested and detained; some tried at the military tribunal in Yaounde and are now serving life sentences at the Kondengui maximum security prison in Yaounde. Others have disappeared and their families are still looking for them. The government continues to target members of the SCNC and Ambazonia separatist fighters, accusing them of being those fuelling the ongoing conflict.

So many SCNC members and some fighters of the Ambazonia separatist movement were arrested on 14 April 2017 during their General Assembly meeting in Kumbo, Bui Division, North West Region and detained. Many members of the SCNC and the Ambazonia separatist forces were released but forced to sign memorandums of understanding, presented by soldiers deployed by the government, to refrain from participating in SCNC activities.

Following the alliance between the Southern Cameroons National Council and the Ambazonia separatist leaders, President Paul Biya declared war on the leaders of these movements and branded them terrorists trying to compromise the integrity of nation. The activities of any secessionist movement following the unilateral declaration of independence in the minority English-speaking Regions of Cameroon were declared illegal, treasonous and the government of Cameroon has been trying to suppress and extinct the activities of the SCNC, and its activists home and abroad.

Elias Babe Tiku, Mbah Idris, Epie Paul Ewane, Ndeh Peter Fru, James Lyonga are renowned members of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, who were caught distributing flyers from door to door and their images and activities were reported on CRTV 7:30 National News.

On 1 October 2017 and 1 October 2018, following the continuous unilateral declaration of independence by the leaders of the SCNC in alliance with the Ambazonia separatist leaders, Elias Babe Tiku, General Ivo, Mbah Idris, Mancho Bibixy, Penn Terence and two notorious ‘Generals’ of the Ambazonia separatist movement came to the attention of the police and soldiers deployed to the North West and South West Regions as they were caught sensitising the public on the activities of SCNC by sharing flyers, and dropping some at the door-steps of citizens in these areas.

They have again been arrested and taken to unknown destinations. The families of Elias Babe Tiku, Mbah Idris, Mancho Bibixy and General Ivo woke up one morning to the pictures of their sons where they were reportedly tied up, tortured and subjected to inhuman degrading treatment circulating on social media. Their whereabouts is still unknown.

It has been reported on CRTV National News that Elias Babe Tiku, Mbah Idris and General Ivo escaped in the course of transferring them to the Bamenda central prison. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

Since the escape of these detainees to unknown destinations, their family members have been constantly under very serious threats from soldiers who want them the indicate whereabouts of the escapees.

If Elias Babe Tiku and the others arrested, they will be tried under the anti-terrorism law, whose maximum punishment is the death sentence. That is if they are not killed outright, like many others who have suffered from extrajudicial killings.

Elias Babe Tiku , under security searchlight for his involvement in the Anglophone crisis

Meanwhile, separatist leader of the self-declared Republic of Ambazonia, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, and eight other close associates of his, who were arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon, are currently serving life sentences at the Kondengui maximum security prison in Yaounde. They were sentenced for “terrorism and secession” among other charges after having been tried at the military tribunal.

Many other activists such as Mancho Bibixy, Penn Terrence, Tsi Conrad among others are also serving sentences at the Kondengui prison.

The government has deployed more soldiers to Bamenda to assist in the crackdown of members of the SCNC who are now said to be in alliance with the Ambazonia fighters and most of them are hiding in the bushes.

Meanwhile, some pregnant mothers and their children were reported burnt in their homes in Kumbo, Bui Division by soldiers loyal to the Cameroon Government.

Most activists on social media namely:  Chris Anu, Ray Timah, Sako Samuel, Cho Ayaba Lucas, Aaron Yancho Kaah, Tapang Ivo, Mark Bareta, Barrister Harmony Bobga Mbuton, Barrister Emmy Tricia Kesah and Barrister Nalova Bih who have been advocating for the release of these detainees and that their trials in the Military Tribunal is inhuman have been declared enemies of the state and charged for acts of treason and rebellion against the state of Cameroon.

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