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Cameroon Separatist Leader, Aides Arrested in Nigeria

VOA | ABUJA/DAKAR — A leading member of a separatist movement in Cameroon has been taken into custody in the capital of neighbouring Nigeria with his aides, sources and secessionists said on Saturday.

The once-fringe Anglophone movement in majority Francophone Cameroon has gathered pace in the last few months following a military crackdown on protests. It represents the gravest challenge yet to the 35-year rule of President Paul Biya who will seek re-election this year.

Julius Ayuk Tabe, the Nigeria-based chairman of the Governing Council of Ambazonia separatist movement, was taken into custody alongside six others at a hotel in Abuja on Friday, said an official in the west African country and a member of the separatist group in Cameroon.

Bilateral relations have been strained by a separatist movement in Cameroon that has clashed with the Cameroonian army and forced thousands to flee violence by travelling across the border to Nigeria.

Cameroonian troops last month crossed into Nigeria in pursuit of rebels without seeking Nigerian authorization, causing diplomatic wrangling behind the scenes.

Separatists, including armed radical elements, seek an independent state for the nation’s Anglophone regions they call Ambazonia.

A Nigerian official said Tabe and six of his supporters were placed in custody at around 7 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Friday. “They were having a meeting at Nera Hotels in Abuja,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

The official did not know who rounded up the separatists.

A member of the separatist group based in Cameroon, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the people were taken into custody.

The separatist group later issued a statement saying that Tabe and six others were taken from Nera Hotels by Cameroonian gunmen in an “illegal abduction.” Reuters was unable to independently verify the allegation.

The unrest in Cameroon began in November, when English-speaking teachers and lawyers in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, frustrated with having to work in French, took to the streets calling for reforms and greater autonomy.

French is the official language for most of Cameroon but English is spoken in two regions that border Nigeria.

Protests by separatists prompted a violent crackdown by Cameroon’s military last year in which troops opened fire on demonstrators.

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  1. Is this any news to celebrate?
    When yes, that what happened?
    Are we so naiv to celebrate this as an end to our problems?..
    We have a very big problem incameroon..
    Even oif all these leaders are caught, sent to yaounde and killed, new ones will come out from hiding and may be more radical..Lets not be naiv by running away from our problems..
    We want to get full control of our country..We want the youths to have a say in their country..We dont want an individual to own cameroon as his propoerty..
    We need to clean the country and the problem is not the guys caught in Nigeria but the thieves and mafias in the government of cameroon…We have to be clear with what our problem is..
    We are still slaves under France and many people are fighting for this liberation-Wake up and understand our prob.

  2. No one can establish a nation without scars, this is the moment of establishment

  3. Stupidity still exist only in Africa..
    primitivity still exist in africa..
    Barbarism still in Africa..
    Africans hate themselves, kill themselves to please the white man..
    So shameful..And the youths of africa have no future..Old half death africans with death brains dont want to leave power…

    We should be very proud when young africans go to the streets to chase out these old people…

    NB: the arrested leaders in NIGERIA have been released….

    ÜPeople lets honestly respect blacks , be proud as blacks and restore the dignity of blacks..
    I am tired of this hatred…

    • @ Biko. The hatred is from the secessionists against the Cameroon Francophones even though the problem is the Biya regime.

  4. A yuk has no legal standing he and his unlawful organization are waging a conflict to destabilize a sovereign state. They all should be prosecuted for treason.

  5. Brother, you cannot battle the government and win. Remember the contention was the flag. Everyone was warned about this move. Some of us who stood for federalism warned against flying a different flag. In any country you will be killed. But lies and propaganda was the real deal. Look where we are today. If you think these guys will be freed then we are still dreaming.

  6. Feel free to arrest everybody.
    We shall be in very good company in Nkondengui.
    Also arrest our children yet unborn for they too will fight you.
    No one…can be forced to live in an unhealthy relationship.
    The people stood up like one man in October and September 2017.
    The clock will not be turned back because you arrested one man.

    • Are you crying?
      You yesterday were singing kumbaya on how you were heading to BUEA.
      Be a man and go to the frontline instead of hiding behind some keyboard.
      You fight is wrong and that’s the problem.
      Never to success even with all your unborn kids.

  7. J ‘ai nioxé ma go anglophone cette nuit copieusement à l’annonce de l’arrestation de ce salaud de sissiku ayuk tabé. Elle a chialé et pleuré en apprenant cette bonne nouvelle. Comme elle croit que l’ambazonie là c’est quelque chose. I have learned from a nigerian officer that ayuk tabe has received “un bon café chaud”, him and his officers with whom he has been arrested. Cameroon shall stay one and indivisible whether some secessionists want it or not. Let’s talk about federalism. it ‘s better


  9. Mr Owona!We are not in a monarchy here in Cameroon ok!If we had a monarchy then no problem Frank Biya can be the next president but what we have on Cameroon presently very very illegal but LR is LR and that would be the beginning to the end about Cameroon as we know.Beti against Nordist,Bamilikees Bassa’s Everything scatter!

  10. Good news!! i hope they go remove their canass, they spoiled real fighters their fight with this mamipima Ambazombian dream.

  11. Frank Biya next President of Cameroon?Hahahahaha!This would open a can of worms!Beti vs Bamilikee,Nordist,Bassa,etc etc and the end of la Republic as a nation.

  12. We call on Nigeria to unconditionally release our President H.E Ayuk Tabe Sisiku.Oher wise if anything happens to him cctand his cabinet members we will hold Nigeria as an accomplice to the ongoing genocide of Cameroon Anglophones.

  13. Ayuk Tabe was a wanted man in the U.S. He ran to Nigeria thinking he was going to be protected by his Ijagham brothers while organizing attacks on Cameroonians but justice prevailed. I had told you guys he was going to end up in Kondengui. He is Biya’s new year present from Nigeria.

  14. This crisis have finally lift the veil and exposed the share hypocrisy, navigation a vue and half hearted profession of love between Nigeria and Cameroon. When Boko Haram engages in endless running battles with Nigerian forces at the very beginning of the advent of that terror group, Cameroonians were bemused initially and later scandalized by the inability of the Nigerian firefighter forces to take the fight to the thugs. Nigerian soldiers were branded as Boy Scouts. But Boko Haram found a way to call the Cameroonian bluff by seizing the wife of the Vice PM and other family members and making their way back to Nigeria with them. The irony of things now is that the Nigerian “ Boy Scouts “ who were spat on and called all kinds of bird names by chest thumping Cameroonians are the ones who

    • have pulled off the arrest of President Sisiku and his team, and as shameless as all apologists of the statusquo always are, the Nigerian soldiers have suddenly become the new kids in town, who should hand over their booty to Cameroon! Those popularly referred to as Biafras in Cameroon have been summoned to go back to their kin and kith in Nigeria. Have the refugees and Ambazonia leaders not therefore found their home in Nigeria? Why would anyone be imploring the Nigerian gov’t to send back Ambazonian leaders while the same zeal is not shown about the plight of the refugees? Is a cooking pot for the lizard not a cooking pot for the chameleon? The Holy Spirit suddenly washed Nigeria and its Boy Scouts clean, and they now look so good and are historic partners! De qui se moque t-on?

  15. Bobjazz what you wish for others will happen to you.H.E Sisiku Ayuk Tabe was not a wanted man in the US.If he was he could have been picked up long ago.We are waiting to see what will happen to Mr Sisiku .I am not a Bayangi or Ijagam man but I feel I can lay down my life for Mr Sisiku.He is the kind of leader a wicked country like Cameroon needs to right the wrongs done to the people by the wicked ,tribalistic ,devilish and occultic regime of Paul Biya.

    • @ son of God. I am a proud Anglophone Cameroonian. Our fight headed by Balla was against the Biya regime’s marginalization of Anglophone Cameroonians and not about hating Francophones or separating from our Francophone brothers and sisters . This fight was hijacked by your terrorist leader Ayuk Sisiku promoting hate and separation from our Francophone brothers and sisters by killing our kids, depriving them from going to school, burning their schools and our infrastructures. If you support this type of barbarism and hate then you are no son of God.

  16. Hmmmm!!! Amba vs LRC. Oh yes wona air wona views but all I know is that the phrase “”Cameroon is one and indivisible” seem to have disappeared.

  17. It is time we arrest Biya and his crew members and hand them to the ICC
    The time monarchs is over in the world. Please, what is the army doing in Yaounde,Arrest biya and tell us your cost and we shall honour it and pay u guys.
    Concerning Ambazonian leaders abducted in Nigeria, It is very clear that they will be set free, for they are fighting a good course and the blessing of the population is with them.Nigeria can not extradite some one to face a death penalty on the crimes accused of as per rules of international law.

  18. The arrest of the IP of SC is a blessing in disguise.

    This is so because:

    1. It further internationalises the Anglophone Question
    2. In addition to this, the Government of Nigeria will be compelled to honour Justice Roseline Ukeje, of the Abuja Federal High Court, ruling in 2002 .

    This suit pitted SCAPO and SCNC against the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
    The High Court of Abuja ruled that the Nigerian government should honour its treaty obligations under the African Chatter on Human and People’s Rights, by taking up the case of the Southern Cameroons with the UN, ICJ and other relevant international agencies.

    Lawyers of SC will remind the Government of Nigeria of this ruling of the Federal High Court of Abuja.


    • Of course, the Government of Nigeria can NEVER EVER, I repeat NEVER EVER repatriate Southern Cameroonian patriots to the lawless and genocidal LRC.

      The IP and company will be released this week to enable them to continue with the struggle to shake off FOREVER the fetters of French-sponsored annexionist-cum-assimilationist enslavement and trammels.

      NO to the Commission on Bilingualism
      NO to Decentralisation
      NO to a 3,4,10 or 50 states Federation
      NO to dictatorship


      One thing is 100% certain:

      The FINAL SOLUTION to the Anglophone Question will be gotten this time around come rain come shine. There is nothing Biya, Nigeria, France or the UN can do to stop the present momentum.


  19. It is weird that people turn to the Internet to pour their crass ignorance/grievances, a forum where others turn to for enlightenment and progress.

    Why would any sane person publish concoctions like:

    #1 Ayuk Tabe is wanted by the FBI.
    #2. Ayuk Tabe signed oil exploration concessions with a Canadian company.

    For the many weeks leading up to October 1, 2017, this gentleman criss-crossed the US mainland addressing gatherings of jubilant English-speaking Cameroonians in halls and public spaces provided with police officials and secret service personnel, including the FBI.

    As for the second allegation, a good investigative journalist uses documents to back up claims and forestall speculations, doubts, or fake claims.

  20. lets hope Nigeria is protecting those abductees for their own safely from evil biya paid hit men, nevertheless if Nigeria is sidling with dictator biya, then Buhari has shot his own foot especially as the US and many EU countries were warming, eyeing towards him as one of the front African leader making positive change within the continent which is poorly developed with slum because of government systematic corrupt, bribery, embezzlement, beggars like Cameroon rely on foreign aid and foreigners to do the simplest innovation, including providing dirty water, deadly roads, unemployment, no human rights, uncaring leaders driving their people to seek refuge in deadly waters across the Mediterranean, voiceless citizens are being punished by developed leaders instead of their greedy leaders