By Wilson Endah With Report
According to information from some media organs in the country, some Diaspora Ambazonia activists have been blamed for masterminding the recent shooting in a school in Kumba, Meme division of the South West region, which lead to the death of seven students and several others injured.
This is contained in letter with subject “Report/Findings on the incident/Massacre that occurred on 24 October 2020, at the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy School Complex in Bamileke Street, Fiango, Kumba, Meme Division, South West Region, Cameroon”, sent by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, to the Minister of State, Secretary General at the Presidency, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh. The letter, a copy of which this reporter has seen, says the findings were done on the instruction of the Head of State, relayed by Prime Minister, Head of Government.
The letter stated that: “…on the 24th of October 2020 around 11 a.m. a Private School/College Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy School Complex located at Bamileke Street, Fiango, Kumba, Meme Division, South West Region, Cameroon, was attacked by a group of 9 separatist fighters who came in on 3 motorcycles. The assailants were heavily armed with sophisticated weapons like AK47 and homemade rifles and opened fire on the students present in the classrooms, killing 6 on the spot – 1 boy and 5 girls”. It also said several other students were critically wounded in the attack and are receiving treatment at the Kumba district hospital, Manyemen Annex Hospital Kumba and Mutengene hospital.
Meanwhile, it disclosed that an analogue phone, believed to belong to one of the separatist fighters, was found at the scene of the crime.
The letter said in the course of investigating the Itel 5081 phone, it was discovered that it had been in recent communication with telephone number +1 206-659-9939 tied to James AsangaWaseh. The said James AsangaWaseh, it was disclosed, “is a Cameroonian with Cameroon passport No. 089543 based in the USA, a strong promoter and an activist/secessionist who has been on our watch list and working closely with separatist fighters in Cameroon”.
Waseh, the letter said, was spotted during a demonstration on 5 August 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, harassing and brutalizing the Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso, who was on special mission to dialogue with Anglophones in the Diaspora.
In the letter to the Secretary General at the Presidency, Minister Atanga Nji suggested that one of the means to bring the crisis to an end is to target Cameroonians living abroad and fueling the armed conflict by compelling their brothers and sisters back home to carry out “such malicious killings”.
He said such Cameroonians should be tracked down and repatriated to Cameroon to face the law. Some of them which he listed include; James Asanga Waseh (USA), Samuel Ikome Sako (USA), Eric Tataw Tano (USA), Mark Bareta Bara (Belgium), Ayaba Cho Lucas (Norway), Tapang Ivo Tanku (USA), John Bechu (Sweden), Chick Fon Levi (Sweden) Ngwa Otto (Austria), Prince Joshua Carl (Denmark), Erica Akaba (Belgium), Paul Nilong (Germany), Clovis Nanchop (Germany), Verla Franklin (USA), Caroline Mala (Morocco).
It should be noted that if these persons are repatriated to Cameroon they will be tried in a military tribunal under the anti-terrorism law whose maximum penalty is the death sentence.
Since the armed conflict started in the North West and South West regions at least 3,000 people have been killed according to early 2020 statistics by the United Nations.Many more have been internally displaced and over 30,000 have fled to neighbouring Nigeria where they are living as refugees.
Origin Of Anglophone Crisis
The Anglophone crisis, something that pundits say had been brewing for several years, boiled over in November 2016, when Common Law Lawyers in the North West and South West regions went on strike. They were demanding for the return of the federal system of government, redeployment of Civil Law Magistrates back to Civil Law Courts in French Cameroon, among other grievances. Not long after, teachers in the North West and South West regions also went on strike, demanding for the redress of several issues concerning the English system of education.
Things, however, got worst when Anglophones in both regions, who had been fed up with the unfavourable political and economic situation of the country, the use of French as the dominant and official language, and the marginalisation of the Anglophones, joined the strike.
The strike was met with brutal repression by the military, with many killed, some injured and several others arrested. The crisis later morphed into an armed conflict.
It should be recalled that a leading figure in the Ambazonia fight for independence, Sisiku Ayuk Julius Tabe, and eight other close associates were arrested in Nigeria in January 2018. They were later extradited to Cameroon and detained incommunicado for several months after which they were tried in a military tribunal and sentenced to life imprisonment.
While the Anglophone crisis continues to escalate, international organisations and other western powers have called on the Cameroon government to address the root cause.