Southern Cameroons situation deteriorating as fighting rages 0

Explosions and heavy gunfire have rocked the entire Southern Cameroons as the humanitarian crisis worsens. More than 3,000 soldiers have also been killed and more than two thousands of them have been seriously injured.

The Biya regime has not been releasing the numbers and names of soldiers killed in battle for fear that such news could demoralize its military.

The humanitarian situation in Southern Cameroons is dire and deteriorating. Thousands of Southern Cameroonians continue to seek refuge in neighboring Nigeria and many more displaced in French speaking Cameroun as fighting between government and Ambazonia Restoration forces rages on.

The death toll is thought to be more than 40 000 lives, almost all of them civilian children, men and women, murdered by Cameroun government troops in a series of targeted killings, organized massacres, and killings by fire in over 400 villages burnt down to ashes across Southern Cameroons.

To be sure, over half a million people have been forcibly displaced as refugees living in various countries and especially in refugee camps in Ghana and Nigeria. Over another half a million people have become IDPs hiding in forests, caves and hills due to forced displacement. Additionally, over 1.5 million people are facing a humanitarian disaster.

Every Monday streets in Southern Cameroons are deserted except for people fleeing the ongoing clashes.

The clashes pit troops nominally loyal to the 88-year-old dictator, Paul Biya, against Ambazonia Restoration Forces theoretically commanded by the Ambazonia Interim Government of Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe who is now serving a life sentence in Yaoundé.

The Biya Francophone government is hiding the numbers of soldiers killed and, in certain cases, it tells the families of the troops that their children have simply defected or escaped from the military. More than 1,000 army soldiers cannot be accounted for by the military and there are no efforts by the government to establish the truth about their whereabouts.

The situation in Southern Cameroons-Ambazonia has deteriorated and there is random shooting and quite heavy mortar fire coming from both sides with locals not knowing who is responsible as both Cameroon government army soldiers and Ambazonia fighters are now dressed in the same military camouflage.

The Fighting appears to be escalating rapidly in the rural areas of Southern Cameroons with the Yaoundé government now deploying armor vehicles. Recent clashes in both the South West and North West have exposed several weaknesses in the Cameroon government military.

The US has announced visa restrictions against some senior government officials blocking the implementation of a peace deal.  UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutterres has also been maintaining a kind of deliberate silence on the genocide going on in Southern Cameroons.

For the moment, the fighting appears to be spreading across the entire Southern Cameroons and it is threatening critical medical supplies for thousands of people in places such as Bui, Menchum, Ndian, Kupe Muanenguba, Akwaya, Meme and parts of Fako and Mezam.

About half of the population in Douala, the chief city in the Littoral region in French speaking Cameroun is threatened with famine; inflation is at 300% and Cameroon as a nation is effectively bankrupt.

By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai