As Cameroon hosts CHAN: Military crackdown, violence spike in Anglophone Cameroon

As Cameroon hosts CHAN: Military crackdown, violence spike in Anglophone Cameroon

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The Anglophone crisis has undoubtedly brought misery and pain to the masses in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon. Over four years and counting the problems keep mounting with literarily no solutions on sight. Despite calls for peace and normalcy, things seem to get worst every passing day.  Lives are threatened every day. This is true especially when government driven events are to be held in the the two restive regions. This is the case with the  ongoing African Nation Championship (CHAN). At the center of this cycle of violence are the civilians that continue to pay the ultimate prize. Military crackdown on innocent civilians is on a steady rise.

Before the beginning of the football jamboree, scores of young boys were arrested in Muea, a neighborhood in Buea- Southwest Cameroon. The town of Buea, Limbe and Tiko which has a great role to play in the tournament has been kept dark as uniform men are found everywhere. The rampant raid and search of houses has rendered inhabitants hopeless and frustrated. The Cameroon military are feeding fat form the constant raids in the Anglophone region. Cameroon News agency (CNA) aptly captures this in one of it’s report. CNA reports how a young man in his 20s in Buea was forced to pay 50,000frs (50$) to police officials to gain his freedom. The young boy, a software developer, was forcefully asked by police men to show his blockchain transactions, during which the policemen accused him of involvement in illegal financial transactions. The only way he could gain back his freedom was by giving these police officials money for a crime he didn’t commit to start with.  Youths irrespective of how they dress are searched and most at times when they are sophisticatedly dressed, they are taken for scammers.

This comes after separatist fighters have been calling for a boycott of the event, stating that Limbe, one of the host cities of the tournament is a part of Ambazonia thus no event should be held without the consent of Amabazonians. According to reports, vehicles behind a training ground for footballers were burnt in Limbe. Anglophone separatist fighters later claimed responsibility for the act. The government of Cameroon on its part has mobilized security forces to keep guard at designated posts meanwhile others are braking homes of innocent civilians and arresting men and boys. Anglophone separatists leaders have called for ghost town in Anglophone regions of Cameroon so as to frustrate the organization of CHAN.

Military forces on the eve of the CHAN seized bikes in Limbe, the lone host city in Anglophone Cameroon as a precautionary measure to mare the threats of the separatist fighters. In an address some few days back, the governor of the Southwest region called on the population to work together with the security forces in order to mare the attempts of the Ambazonian fighters. The Anglophone crisis has been on for over four years and lives still get wasted with no solution in sight. This crisis has been referred to as one of the most neglected armed conflict in the world.

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