By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA – Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
Land and airstrikes from the Cameroon military early Tuesday, January 14, 2020, have destroyed several villages and killed at least ten (10) persons in the country’s Kupe Muanenguba Division.
Kupe Muanenguba is one of six divisions in the South West of the Central African country hardest hit by a 3-year armed conflict. Locals say Tuesday’s invasion by the military is the deadliest in 2020.
Babubock, a farming settlement in the precinct is among villages almost completely razed by the Cameroon military. Eleven other villages were also affected by the raids, compelling residents to run to safety.
A local in the area confirmed to National Telegraph; Muedibmel, Ebase, Ekanjoh, Bermin, Balock, Elah, Deck, Eyandong, Ndibe, Ntale and Bambe villages have all suffered the brunt of the military invasion.
Sources say attacks were both on land and by air. “They are using four military helicopters spraying bullets indiscriminately. The military is determined by land and air to eliminate any living soul they come across in our villages, a local said.
The contingent of the Cameroon military that carried out the raids entered the precinct from Nkongsamba, a town in the country’s French-speaking Littoral Region closest to Kupe Muanenguba.
Cameroon is in its third year of armed conflict in the country’s English-speaking regions of the North West and South West after a declaration of independence by Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius, referred to as President of Ambazonia, the new state rebels are battling to establish.
Cameroon’s 86-year-old dictator vowed in his New Year’s televised address to his country to crush separatists, referring to those fighting to establish Ambazonia.
At least, 14000 people have so far been killed in battles and military raids with over 400 villages burnt down. Thousands are held across various detention facilities, including Ayuk Tabe and nine others sentenced for life. Over two million remain displaced as refugees and IDPs.
President Paul Biya called for a National Dialogue, late 2019, to resolve the crisis but ended up politicizing it, political pundits say, adding it was totally boycotted by the rebels.
Participants resolved in granting a Special Status to the affected regions. Even though it has been promulgated into law, the rebels have outrightly rejected it, calling for a credible international negotiation to end the war.