15, December 2017
President Biya has secretly ordered all combat troops to be withdrawn from Manyu Division, Cameroon Concord News has learned from a well-placed official in Yaoundé. Biya informed the supreme command of the Cameroon armed forces earlier today Friday to end all military operations in the Manyu constituency which is one of the most divisive conflicts in Cameroon history.
The military leadership that travelled to Mamfe hinted some of the soldiers today that they will soon be leaving Manyu. “After nearly two weeks, Biya regime’s war in Southern Cameroons will be over” our source said.
The withdrawal of the predominantly Francophone troops marks a turning point in the Yaoundé regime crackdown that started in 2016 and resulted in the creation of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.
Biya, eyeing a 2018 re-election campaign likely to be fought over his handling of the Anglophone crisis and the economy is looking to wind down the one year old Southern Cameroons crisis that has done lasting damage to Biya’s image worldwide and stretched Cameroon military and budget to the brink.
Etoudi has been briefed of the military casualties and French speaking Cameroonians are beginning to question the wisdom behind a military solution to the Anglophone problem. Biya intends to use the traditional chiefs and reduce the military role to security in a territory where levels of violence has risen sharply and attacks on state institutions remain a daily occurrence.
Almost 85 Cameroon soldiers have died and the Manyu deployment has cost Cameroon taxpayers over 3 billion FCFA in military spending alone. Even as Anglophone political elites including those in the army seek to distance themselves from Yaoundé on the genocide in Anglophone Cameroon, Southern Cameroons will never get to its feet after the ferocious violence that has shattered its society and killed hundreds of people.
By Rita Akana in Yaounde