By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Tension continuously mounts in Cameroon’s crisis-hit Anglophone Region where separatists are fighting to restore the state of Southern Cameroon aka Ambazonia.
at least on Sunday, March 29, 2020, locals of Egbekaw Village, considered the epicenter of the armed conflict in Mamfe, got up to the news of two arson attacks.
National Telegraph secret stringers have filed an on-the-spot report confirming the burning down of the residence of the First Deputy Mayor of Mamfe, Agbor Benson Besong fondly called Agbor BB of the CPDM-run Mamfe council.
A local health center in the precinct was also burnt down. Locals say Cameroon military was due to make a cantonment at the facility before the incident happened.
The Mayor remains unharmed, sources told National Telegraph, adding that Peter Eyong, a senior resident whose residence is a stone throw from the Mayor’s was picked up, ferried to the bushes but released hours later.
It’s unclear who carried out the act. This is happening on the same day a separatist militia in the country said it’s halting fighting for a fortnight to enable people to test for Coronavirus. Cameroon so far has 113 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to a Tweet from Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie, Sunday, March 29, 2020.
The Southern Cameroons Defence Forces (SOCADEF) said its ceasefire would come into effect from Sunday, March 29, 2020, as “a gesture of goodwill”, but an overwhelming majority of the fighters called it a joke.
SOCADEF is known to have lost almost all its fighters to other groups while others now fight independently. Many say Dr. Akwanga Ebenezer has less than twelve loyal fighters.
A fighter from Ndian, one of the crisis-hit divisions who spoke to National Telegraph said; “If SOCADEF has more than twelve fighters with guns, let them line up, do a video and call for the ceasefire and I will take my fighters and pay allegiance to Akwanga”
The incident in Mamfe greatly discredits Dr. Akwanga and undermines his words. Mamfe is a town in Cameroon’s South West Region and headquarters of the country’s Manyu Division where the first attacks of the crisis started.
The first attack on regular Cameroon officers in the Anglophone crisis was in Kembong close to Mamfe and close to Ewelle, the village of Ambazonia leader, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius now sentenced to life in prison in the country’s capital, Yaounde.
Fighting in the North West and South West regions has killed at least 14,000 people and displaced millions from their homes. Thousands now seek refuge in Nigeria, Ghana, UAE, Cyprus and many other countries where means permit them after the Cameroon military razed over 500 villages.
At least, five thousand persons are in detention facilities across the country in relation to the ongoing crisis. Unrest in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions began in October 2016 the government mismanaged it, turning it into an armed conflict with a demand by the majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia.