3, January 2019
The Cameroon government army has repeatedly claimed that its war in Southern Cameroons is simply against Ambazonian separatists and that it has been so careful in who it targets in its military operations. The Yaoundé regime military’s assertion is a stunning underestimation of the true human cost of French Cameroun 2-year-old war against the English speaking minority. A 6-month-long investigation by the Cameroon Concord News Group has found that Cameroon government soldiers are killing civilians in Southern Cameroons at a rate 20 times higher than its military spokesperson is admitting.
From Dadi to Batibo and from Menji to Weh including Belo, Munyenge, Kwa Kwa, Bekora and many other areas where the French Cameroun army had carried out raids against targets ostensibly linked to the Ambazonian Restoration Forces, we found that the Biya regime did not even reported how many civilians had died in the shootings.
The Cameroon army is yet to acknowledge the killing of even one Southern Cameroons civilian. Several innocent civilians killed by Francophone army soldiers weren’t counted among the deaths in a document that was made public by Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo.
This raises many troubling issues about the war currently going on in Southern Cameroons. The Cameroon government army is also greatly underreporting the number of military casualties. That also raises questions about how many soldiers the Ambazonian fighters might be killing in Southern Cameroons. Cameroon Concord News gathered from civilians and local leaders that killing of Southern Cameroons civilians by the French Cameroun army is serving as a push for Ambazonia Restoration Forces recruitment.
The Biya war keeps killing Southern Cameroon civilians
The Cameroon military has a civilian casualty’s problem. For example, even the names of the American and Kenyan missionaries killed by government troops did not appear on Minister Beti Assomo’s list. Yet, Francophone government officials acknowledge, they take the necessary precautions to ensure civilians aren’t casualties of the Ambazonia war — even though they are.
Despite claims that Yaoundé has a well organized army; it still cannot stop killing noncombatants because the French Cameroun leadership chooses to fight the Ambazonian restoration forces deep inside towns and villages and not in their assembly areas in the bushes. It is inevitable that civilians have become collateral damage.
By Chi Prudence Asong