Can Paul Biya neutralize Ambazonia fighters as claimed?

Published by Georges Munang on

Can Paul Biya neutralize Ambazonia fighters.

On November 30, 2017 upon his arrival from Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire where he attended the 5th Africa Union-European Union Summit, President Paul Biya at the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport addressing the press unequivocally declared war on “Anglophone secessionists”

President Paul Biya made the solemn declaration following a bloody clash between the Cameroon security forces and Ambazonian fighters in the forest Town of Mamfe located in the South West region of the country.

According to official sources four soldiers were killed. However, Pro-Ambazonia media outlets reported 12 security forces were killed while 11 gendarmes, 3 police and 6 BIRs were seriously wounded

Ever since the president declared war on Anglophone separatists promising to wipe out all “terrorists” of the two regions in the North West and South West as a measure to safeguard national unity, today marks 412 days and the “Anglophone terrorists” have not been wiped out.

The protractive Anglophone war continues with a multiplicity of separatist fighters known as Amba Boys in the two restive regions.

Civilian ordeals keep growing pathetic as security forces continue burning down homes of poor villagers and committing targeted killings as reported by several rights advocates.

Armed civilians on their part keep increasing the cost of war on the government by killing security forces and committing sabotage on government officials and institutions.

As the president of a “one and indivisible Cameroon”, the national and international community were anxiously waiting for the 87 years old Paul Biya to deliver a once and for all pacification, peace oriented and conflict resolutionary speech on the 31st of December in his end of year official address to the nation.

Unfortunately, the longest serving non-royal president in the world, Paul Biya insisted he had, has and is ready for a full scale war in a fragile state he claims has kept stable for decades.

In a rare baring, the president on the 31st of December 2018 warned that

“If my appeal to warmongers to lay down their weapons remains unheeded, the Defense and Security Forces will be instructed to neutralize them”

Then on January 14th 2019, President Paul Biya took to his social media official platforms (twitter and Facebook) reiterating his controversial statement in a designed format.

Then Cameroonians home and abroad fell on him with verbal punches saying he is a toothless bulldog that backs and cannot bite, some said he is a weak president where a simple crisis is more than him to handle.

On the 18th of January during the graduation ceremony of the Combined Armed Military Services Academy (EMIA) in Yaounde, Pual Biya repeated the statement promising that the country’s military will tackle all armed groups perpetrating violence, in Anglophone Cameroon.

Empirically therefore, the president has shallowly declared he is going to neutralize “Anglophone separatists” four times (4)

Can President Paul Biya really neutralize Ambazonia fighters as claimed?

It should be noted that when the president talks of neutralizing warmongers he means killing all Ambazopnia fighters and their laeders thereby ending the ongoing conflict. Is this possible? In a conflict resolution response, the answer will be an emphatic NO!

Nonetheless, it is partially possible for the president as chief of arm forces to order the killing of all Ambazonia fighters. This is so because the fighters are located in the North West and South west Regions of the country which still fall within the territorial integrity of Cameroon.

As the president, he has all national intelligence report on how the fighters live, how they eat, how they get their weapons and even how they sleep. Thus, doing away with them will be just a matter of decision. But there is a problem we are talking about guerrillas in which to pinpoint their mode of operation will be practically impossible.

Maitre Vitalise legenju is a seasoned legal practitioner and CEO of VERITAS Law offices in Buea. Talking to he said what the president has been declaring is just a communication strategy to play over time.

“How can you wipe out all guerrillas? it has never happened and even if that was possible we shouldn’t forget that the fighters have families meaning one fighter being killed leads to two multiplied. Led the president do the right thing which is dialogue”

Military intelligence to Cameroon is supplied largely by the US and France and there exist bilateral and multilateral agreements governing such of which violating the use of such intelligence will lead to political and economic sanctions.

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Neutralizing all armed civilians as in the case of the ongoing Anglophone crisis will be complicated. Talking about a situation where bloody civilians turn into guerrillas daily caused by military brutality as analysts hold.

Barrister Agbor Nkongho Felix is a leading Rights activist in Cameroon and Director of the Center for Human Rights and democracy in Central Africa. When I got him on phone he regrated:

“What the president has been saying repeatedly is unserious, he knows very well that the Anglophone crisis has three opinions: those who want federation, those who want separation and those who want continuation of unity) neutralizing all separatists will not end the war it will instead radicalize the federalists and even unionists”. Agbor Nkongho noted

“I think the president is only speaking to satisfy his ruling junta to make believe he is still the lion man but I pity the president because he has been fooling himself for so long and things are getting out of hand” He added

From all political and military ramifications therefore, to wipe out all Amba Boys, and so called secessionists, Biya will be forced to use weapons of mass destruction which fall under war crimes weapons and strictly prohibited by the Geneva protocols of 1972 and 1993

 Looking at war crimes and crimes against humanity which include:

murder, massacres, dehumanization, genocide, ethnic cleansing, deportations, unethical human experimentation, extrajudicial punishments including summary executions, use of WMDs, state terrorism or state sponsoring of terrorism, death squads, kidnappings and forced disappearances, military use of children, unjust imprisonment, enslavement, cannibalism, torture, rape, politic repression, racial discrimination

Going by the above crimes, the state of Cameroon might be already guilty of: murder, extrajudicial punishment, summary executions, forced disappearances, torture, political repression and even the generally perceived genocide.

“Let the president stop increasing national debts in a dying economy like ours through this war, let him call for that dialogue and stop making baseless statements” says socio-political analyst Barrister Ako John Ako


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