Cameroon’s Lawmakers Ask for Military Protection in English-Speaking Western Regions

VOA | Lawmakers from Cameroon’s troubled English-speaking regions are calling for more troops to protect officials, government workers, and their families from separatists. Addressing Cameroon’s parliament Wednesday night, the lawmakers said the rebels have abducted hundreds of officials and their family members and killed at least 20 workers in the past month.

Cameroon lawmakers say the heavy presence of government troops in the country’s troubled English-speaking western regions has not stopped separatist atrocities on civilians.

Cavaye Yeguie Djibril it the speaker of Cameroon’s National Assembly, called the lower house of parliament. He said Wednesday that several hundred elected officials, government workers and their families are being held captive by separatists in the western regions.

He says insecurity caused by separatist rebels and their brutality is increasing by the day and lawmakers, village chiefs and government workers are among the highest victims. Djibril says lawmakers are pleading with civilians to denounce fighters hiding in their villages and towns and report all suspects and their hideout to the military. Djibril says militias should be created in all English-speaking towns and villages to assist government troops to protect civilians and fight separatists.

The lawmakers say separatists have killed at least 20 government workers in the last month.

Leke Besongoh Akemfor Phillip is a lawmaker representing the Southwest region in the upper house of parliament. He says a majority of English-speaking lawmakers, mayors, local councilors and village chiefs and their families have relocated to Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, for safety.

“The government should increase security because terrorists [separatist rebels] kidnap senators, parliamentarians and other state functionaries and demand ransom,” said Akemfor. “So, if the government can get security operatives to wipe the hideouts, those terrorists will not be able to stay within settlement areas. When this is done, we can go back and know that our security is guaranteed.”

Capo Daniel is the deputy defense chief of the Ambazonia Defense Forces, one of Cameroon’s separatist groups. He acknowledges that separatists are attacking and abducting Cameroon’s government workers and elected officials who represent the central government.

He says the attack on government workers and elected officials is part of their campaign to make English-speaking regions ungovernable by the central government in Yaounde.

“Every Cameroon government official in our territory will be arrested. We will intensify our attacks against the administrative representatives,” said Daniel. “We are fighting to free ourselves from occupation and recolonization.”

Capo acknowledged that scores of civilians accused of collaborating with the central government are being held hostage in camps by separatists, and did not say if they will be freed.

He denied that rebels with separatist groups kidnap people for ransom, but said armed groups in the western regions carry out that practice.

The military says it will protect all civilians and their goods, and the central government says elected officials, government workers and village chiefs who need additional security can apply to the military.

A June 2022 Human Rights Watch report accuses Cameroon separatists of brutality in their attacks and says fighters have carried out at least 80 abductions since January.

Cameroon’s separatist conflict has killed more than 3,300 people and displaced more than 750,000 others since 2017, according to the U.N.

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8 comments

  1. Fernand Samsa

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  2. The “law makers” have not noticed the six year war which was declared “to protect people and property”.
    They never thought it worthy of their time and never uttered a word in debate!
    And now without any sense of the embarassment of accusing their patron of failing in those “objectives” and as if to underline the failing of their patronage pyramid they are now asking for “the army to protect them”!
    Obviously they are “important” people … more important than the people the war was declared to protect.
    In a way this is good news. “If” “the army” withdraws from from its arson and terorrism duties against the people of Southern Cameroons to concentrate on surrounding the “law makers” for protection it can only help the people to get on with the reality of their separate state

  3. when i said at the beginning of this crisis that looking at the geography on the region,it is practically impossible to achieve what we are asking for.i was called names,sardine eater etc.here we are almost six years and absolutely nothing.what i said will happen is exactly what has happened.i said once younde block amba access to nigeria and equitorial guine which are closest to limbe and mamfe.everything is over,it is only a matter of time before the masses start feeling war fatigue.here we are the same people who were stunch supporters six years ago now call amba fighters bandits.why did they not see what i saw in advance?because they lack rationality,thinking guided by mathemetical calculation.

    • You saw nothing,”blind man”.challenges like sourcing of materials are part of a war.who told you the colonialist lrc are finding it easy sourcing materials?
      You are no war strategist,and have no clue on how our ARF acquire their materials,so stop running your mouth.

      • palapala,,,,, this is not a question of being a war strategist or not. it is a question of simple rationality.it is what makes the difference between winners and losers. while those who are rational can anticipate. those driven by emotions simply don’t think about the consequences of their actions commenting sucide as a result.

    • @BAH ACHO: people have a brain to think but yours is to eat, sleep and drink..
      What i dont understand is your level of understanding of the history of cameroon..
      A normal man with a normal brain will tell you that a country like cameroon can only function in a fedaral system..
      Cameroon is a country with 2 systems and having 2 systens can never work in a centralized sytsem..
      One System cannot take over another..
      You cannot force one colonial system on another.
      Solution: either you build a cameroon system, with an african language or you respect both systems..
      As long as a people have the feeling that are not respected and accepted, there will be war..
      @BAH ACHO: go eat bread , sardine, drink wine and sleep ..You are not honest, brainless dude..

      • why did i see that amba will fail six years ago but not you? the solution is building an authentic African system with an African language as vehicle preferably KISWAHILI already used widely in east Africa. this is the logical long term solution that i said will work in the beginning.

        • There is a computing saying “garbage in, garbage out”. First @BahAcho boasts mathematical calculation of a war situation, claiming to have “foreseen” then when a @biko introduces the logic of how the “crisis” started, @BahAcho cleverly side-steps it… Who is supposed to build that African system? When? Do you think Ambazonia should accept second class citizenship and wait for “an authentic african system”? When is that coming?
          How have the Ambazonians failed? If one leader is assasinated that does not mean they have failed…”mathematical calculations” suggest that there is losses in wars AND that wars are chaotic and not capabe of being predicted mathematically!