BY CYNTHIA BIH
The crisis rocking the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon otherwise known as Former British Southern Cameroon is now in its 6th year. Investigative findings from many human rights groups and nongovernmental organizations have in one voice condemned the extra-judicial killings by mostly the military on innocent civilians including children and pregnant women and burning of houses. Reports indicate that about 5000 civilians’ lives have been claimed by the arm conflict and about 75000 persons displaced with many living in horrible conditions in Nigeria.
Despite the successful Major National Dialogue that took place in Yaounde from September 30 to October 5, 2019 to resolve the Anglophone crisis, the resolutions taken seems to have fallen on deaf ears. The two restive regions of Anglophone remain a no go zone to many, especially alleged separatist fighters and SCNC activists as a man hunt have been launched to track them down. Cases of killing civilians by the Government forces abound but the Government has in most cases refused responsibility. On Friday November 6, 2020 the Traditional Ruler of Liwuh La Malele village in Buea Sub Division of the South West Region, HRM Chief Molinga Francis Nangoh, was shot dead by still to be unidentified gunmen, and on October 14th 2021 5 –year- Old Carolouise Enongene Ndialle was shot on her way to school by a gendarme officer in Buea. Despite the documented compelling evidence published by New York Times Journal and corroborated by human rights organizations, and the Catholic Church accusing the Cameroon army as responsible for all the massacre and extra-judicial killings Government formally denied her responsibility for the atrocities. They attribute every atrocity in the North West and South West region to activists and separatist fighters, and recently established a fresh list of alleged activists targeted for arrest.
The list is reported to have been given to intelligence services for action. Amongst the alleged activist who are on government black list and are target for arrest anytime they set feet in Cameroon are Canadian based Egbe Christabel Motack and UK-based newly elected Southern Cameroon National Council, SCNC, Chairman, Robert Tamanji and Njie Philomen Efila.
The case of 31-year-old Egbe Christabel, from Mamfe, in the South West Region is even more complicated. Before leaving the country sometimes in November 2019, she and her husband Tataw Ndakor Tabe were frontline members of the SCNC and their activism in the movement continued out of the country. Recently she received a call from her Pastor friend in Kumba, that a credible source at the Yaounde Central Police has disclosed to him that her name has been flagged and blacklisted by the regime for arrest, linking her with her involvement in the Anglophone Crisis. Her activism abroad, reports say, is affecting her family back home. On July 10, 2022, the Egbe’s family residence in Mamfe was razed to the ground and her mother Tambi Egbe Dorothy and other family relatives arrested in Mamfe by elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR. They are said to have been whisked to Kumba on allegations that her mother didn’t participate on the celebration of the National Youth Day, always celebrated on February 11, and that her children abroad, especially Egbe Christabel are fanning the Anglophone Crisis.
It should be recalled that before the molestation meted on Egbe’s mother, her sister Gwendoline Arrika Egbe was on May 1 2022 rough handled by the military for not providing vital information regarding her cousin equally tagged “a terrorist”. Reports from Mamfe say the military keep carrying on impromptu raids around the neighbourhood of Egbe Christabel Motack who has already been tagged a wanted secessionist due to her involvement in the Anglophone crisis.
Uncertainty for Nurse Njie Philomen Efila
Reports from Kumba , Chief town of Meme Division, South West Region, Say a Njie Philomen Efila , a nurse at a Health Center in Kumba has since gone underground for fear of reprisals since March 2019. She has been declared wanted by both the military and the Amba Boys. Her family remains perplexed about her where about.
The nurse was married to a security guard, who was constantly interrogated by the military and accused for siding with the Amba Boys, while the Amba boys on the other hand saw him as a “black leg”, sources say. According to family sources, some Amba Boys, February 15, 2019, raided their residence; raped her daughter and unfortunately killed her husband, Ngufor Ernest Nchang, for allegedly leaking out information about them to the military. The SUN had it on good record, Philomen, who was also going to killed escaped.
One of the Amba boys who participated in the killing of Philomen’s husband, arrested after the incident, is said to have told the military that Philomen had full ideas about their dealings with the late husband. With this information, the military launched a manhunt for her; accusing her of not providing vital information about the relationship her late husband had with the Amba Boys, The Sun had gathered. With the understanding that she was under both military and separatist fighters’ search light, Philomen reportedly ran for her life to an undeclared destination.
Origin of Anglophone Crisis
Common Law Lawyers went to strike in October 2016 to protest government attempts to annihilate the common law practice in a constitutionally bilingual and bi-jural Cameroon. The strike lasted for over a year. Anglophone teachers in the Country joined the strike on November 21, 2016 to uphold Anglo-Saxon values under threat in Cameroon’s two English speaking regions. The government crackdown on Anglophone activists has since intensified with arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and extra-judicial killings becoming the new normal, human rights groups have said. The fate of many remains precarious, as security forces battle separatists. President Paul Biya has since taken a tough position on the crisis in the two English-speaking regions. Guns have since then taken the place of dialogue and peace.