Who is Keeping Ambazonian leaders?

Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe

Journal du Cameroun | The question has been begging an answer for the past three weeks since Sissiku Ayuk Julius Tabe and his “cabinet members” were arrested in a hotel on January 5 and taken to an unknown destination.
The debate was recently heightened by French Television Channel France 24 who reported that the separatist leaders have finally been extradited to Yaounde to face trial.

Yaounde is yet to make an official statement on this development but sources at the airport report of a plane that landed at the Nsimalen airport on Thursday night purportedly carrying the leaders.

The silence of the Nigerian government mighjt be deafening but speaks volumes. Since the arrest of the leaders, their lawyers have not been able to lay eyes on them. Even the visit of the Ambazonian spokesperson to Nigeria proved unsuccessful as the whereabouts of Ayuk Tabe and Co could still not be traced.

On the other hand, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees says the Nigerian government has assured the separatist leaders will not be extradited to Cameroon.

“UNHCR has negotiated the release of some asylum seekers arrested by the Nigerian authorities,” the UNHCR said in a statement.

“For others still in detention, including the leadership of the pro-independence group, the government has agreed to grant UNHCR access for the determination of their status.

“The government has further reassured UNHCR that those detained would not be returned to Cameroon.

The head of the African bar association has called for the release of the abducted separatist leaders while calling for the international intervention to halt the killings taking place in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Signals are contradicting, confusion is in the air and even the media seems divided over the issue. With parts of the French-speaking media in Cameroon leaning towards the extradition of the separatist leaders, the national and international community now highly await the outcome of a press conference to be granted by Communications minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary on Monday.