16, February 2021
Extrajudicial killings are grossly inhuman and must be condemned and the killing of three chiefs by Field Marshall, a feared fighter in Lebialem, should be condemned by all responsible and peace-loving citizens of Cameroon.
The story of the point blank shooting of those local authorities has even caught the attention of the Yerima-led Interim Government and it has been worried about such reckless brutality.
Speaking to the Cameroon Concord News Group’s London Bureau Chief, an official of the Interim Government regretted the violence Field Marshall has unleashed on those chiefs for no apparent reason.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that such acts of violence only go a long way in giving the insurgency a very bad name, making it hard for the international community to take the different factions involved in the fighting in Southern Cameroons seriously.
“Nothing justifies the killing of those three local authorities in a public square. Southern Cameroons is not Afghanistan where people just get killed for no apparent reason,” the official said.
“No anger, no frustration and no story can justify such inhuman brutality. That is not the Southern Cameroonian mentality and such an action will never be condoned by the interim government,” the official stressed.
“We condemn this act just like we condemn the burning of our civilians and any abuse committed by the army like what occurred in Ndu recently,” he stressed.
“As Southern Cameroonians, we must never condone such a waste of human life. We are urging Field Marshall and all the other groups to stop intimidating the population. We are also calling on the fighters on the ground to stop killing Southern Cameroonians just because we disagree with them. We are fighting to build a democracy in Southern Cameroons and actions by Field Marshall and some shadowy figures on the ground only go a long way in calling into question our honest intention to bring about an independent and democratic Southern Cameroons,” the official concluded.
The interim government’s message is clear and honestly, there is nothing right in taking a human life and the actions of Field Marshall speak volumes to the abuse that is taking place in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon.
The fighting in the country’s two English-speaking regions of Cameroon is the outcome of a recklessly declared war by a leader who has been out of touch with his country’s realities.
This is a war that does not have a place in Cameroon’s history but given that Cameroonian authorities have only one tool – ferocious brutality- in their small toolbox, they had to unleash terror on Southern Cameroonians who were simply bringing their sorry plight to the attention of the same authorities.
This government’s penchant for brutality and its under-estimation of the determination of the people of Southern Cameroons has resulted in some 7,000 deaths, a disruption of life in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon and the displacement of thousands of Southern Cameroonians, with many living rough both at home and in neighboring Nigeria.
Despite the increasing human suffering, the Yaounde government has not deemed it necessary to seek peaceful means to engineer sustainable solutions.
Thousands of civilians have been burned alive, including babies, but these gruesome images are not strong enough to cause the ailing and dying president of Cameroon, Paul Biya, to contemplate a change in strategy. It is indeed unfortunate that a man can be this frozen in his position and thoughts.
The world cannot be totally wrong. The Pope has called for peace. He has spoken to Mr. Biya about the need to engage Southern Cameroonians in a frank and fruitful dialogue but Mr. Biya has remained adamant.
The Pope, like many heads of state has sent special envoys to talk Mr. Biya out of the madness and cruelty he has brought to a once prosperous nation, but his inhuman indifference to wise counsel has only made his soldiers to think that they have carte blanche to kill and maim whoever they meet in their path.
This mentality is not addressing any issues. At best, it is counterproductive. The chaos the war is spreading in Cameroon should have advised the government to rethink its ways. The number of civilian and military deaths is rising and there is no end in sight.
The government might have superior military power, but the determination of eight million Southern Cameroonians will surely keep the military in the jungles of Southern Cameroons for a very long time.
Many soldiers have been killed and thousands have been maimed by determined Southern Cameroonian fighters and this has struck fear in the minds of these young soldiers, many of whom have only been trained for six months and rushed to the killing fields of Southern Cameroons where they are made to see death first hand.
But how many soldiers and civilians must die for Mr. Biya to understand that the worst peace agreament is better than the best war?
If fighting and killing are beautiful, why have Mr. Biya and his collaborators not sent their own children to the war front? What have they been telling the numerous widows of those young soldiers who have lost their lives in a war that will never make Cameroon better?
Why can Mr. Biya and his collaborators not understand that while checking the insurgency is good, going to the negotiating table with the warring factions to iron out differences could bring lasting peace and stability in Cameroon?
Instead of paying leap service to the notion of one and indivisible Cameroon, why not match actions to words by addressing the root cause of the problem? Will Cameroon not be one and indivisible if it is federal and inclusive?
Why is the government intentionally giving the country a bad name and pushing its economy to the bottom of the abyss? Genuine patriotism does not exclude dialogue as a means of achieving sustainable peace.
Mr. Paul Biya and his government still have time to reverse some of the damage they have caused in the country. There is no prize for being stone-hearted and the evil that Mr. Biya and collaborators are spreading in Cameroon might one be the potion of their children.
The numerous killings in Cameroon will forever be considered as the legacy of Mr. Biya who in the 1980s asked Cameroonians this important question: What type of Cameroon do you want for your children?
From every indication, he has offered an answer to that question and it clear that the Cameroon he wants for future Cameroonians is a Cameroon that is intolerant, corrupt, nepotic, dishonest and economically bankrupt.
History will forever have it that once upon a time, there was a president in Cameroon who had all the natural resources in the world, the best human resources in Africa and the total support of the international community for him to transform his country into an earthly paradise, but he opted to destroy the country and its people by fostering corruption, inaction and nepotism which have transformed the country into a living hell.
As Mr. Biya continues to implement his machiavelian agenda, the world is simply wondering why a man who is supposed to be the light of his country could be so hellbent on destroying his own fatherland.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai