By YUSINYU OMER in Yaoundé
Lawmakers from the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have pleaded with the government to help them with military protection.
In a report published on VOA, the lawmakers said at the end of the just ended plenary sitting in Yaounde on July 6, 2022 that there has been a lot of kidnap of government officials in these two regions by separatist fighters who for five years now have been fighting for the creation of the state of Ambazonia.
This, according to the report, has led to the killing of thousands of civilians as well as the displacement of many others to other regions of the country as well as to neighboring Nigeria.
According to Leke Besongoh Akemfor Phillip, a Senator from the Southwest region, a majority of lawmakers, mayors, local councillors and village chiefs and their families from these two regions have relocated to Yaounde for safety.
“The government should increase security because terrorists kidnap senators, parliamentarians and other state functionaries and demand ransom,” said Akemfor. “So, if the government can get security operatives to wipe the hideouts, those terrorists will not be able to stay within settlement areas. When this is done, we can go back and know that our security is guaranteed.”
Capo Daniel, deputy defense chief of the Ambazonia Defense Forces has acknowledged that separatists are attacking and abducting government workers and elected officials who represent Yaounde in these two regions. In a telephone interview with him, he said the attack on government workers and elected officials is part of their campaign to make English-speaking regions ungovernable by Yaoundé.
“Every Cameroon government official in our territory will be arrested. We will intensify our attacks against the administrative representatives,” said Daniel. “We are fighting to free ourselves from occupation andrecolonization.”
Capo acknowledged that scores of civilians accused of collaborating with the military are being held hostage in camps by separatists, and did not say if they will be freed. He denied the fact that their forces with separatist kidnap people for ransom, but said armed groups are responsible for such activities
The military reassured the government that it will protect all civilians and their goods. The government has also called on elected officials, government workers and village chiefs who need additional security to apply to the military for immediate action to be taken.