23, November 2018
The Biya regime reportedly arrested several Southern Cameroonians in the cities of Douala and Yaounde in what seems to be part of a widened crackdown on English speaking Cameroonians after the rigged presidential elections. Biya’s kinsmen in both the army and the gendarmerie have said that the individuals were planning attacks deep inside French Cameroun territory.
Cameroon Intelligence Report gathered from a police source in Douala that many of the Southern Cameroonians are being detained after calling for a boycott of the October 7 polls in Anglophone Cameroon and took to the streets celebrating when Prof Maurice Kamto declared himself winner of the elections. A sea of bloggers have also been arrested for posting what the regime in Yaoundé described as fake news on the behaviour of the ruling CPDM candidate. At the Obili neighbourhood in Yaounde, some 4 Southern Cameroons teenagers were arrested for destroying CPDM campaign posters. The 4 recently rejected the charges.
Meanwhile, the military tribunal in Yaounde held a secret session late yesterday in a bid to sentence the leader of the Ambazonian nation, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and members of his cabinet who were abducted and forcefully repatriated from Abuja, Nigeria to Cameroon. The Southern Cameroons Interim Head of State and some of his close aides have been moved to the Kondengui High Security prison.
The legitimacy of Mr. Paul Biya’s 7th term has been widely questioned by the international community. Yaoundé has banned all opposition rallies and militarised opposition strong holds in French Cameroun. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Douala Diocese, Samuel Kleda pointed out last week that the Biya administration failed to provide conditions for fair and free voting and that the results were arranged even before the elections that took place in a repressive political environment.
Earlier on, a Yaoundé High court sentenced Bibixy Mancho, including several Southern Cameroons activists in what Amnesty International called a “travesty of justice.” Bibixy Mancho who headed the coffin revolution was arrested in Bamenda. The International Crisis Group including many Human rights groups have frequently said cases against Southern Cameroons activists in French Cameroun courts fail to meet the basic standards of fair trials.
Thousands of Ambazonians protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Southern Cameroons on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began to end French Cameroun control of the territory. They are demanding that the United Nations recognise the Federal Republic of Ambazonia as an independent state with headquarters in Buea representing all Southern Cameroonians.
Biya and the Francophone dominated army have gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested in a widespread French Cameroun regime crackdown.
By Sama Ernest and Rita Akana in Yaounde