By Randal F. Foutsa
AmbaNews24, Washington DC, USA
The government of French Cameroon Republique is facing the biggest test of its survival yet as the war and humanitarian disaster that it officially declared on the Ambazonian people since 2016 takes another dangerous turn as the independence movement of Ambazonia grows in strength and sophistication. As the government of President Paul Biya continues to reject all calls for dialogue to resolve the root causes of the conflict, international sources now estimate the number of fighters of the Ambazonian Defence Forces to over 3000. The separatist movements have also gained in terms of stockpiles of sophisticated weapons. This new dynamic has put up the heat on Cameroon soldiers on the battlefield.
According to a report by journalist Mimi Mefo, the legion commander of Cameroun’s Gendarmerie in Bamenda has stated that Ambazonia fighters use sophisticated and modern guns manufactured in some European countries to fight against the military.
The military commander was speaking in Bamenda at the event of the visit of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency of Cameroun in Charge of Defence to assess the losses suffered by the military in the hands of the contender forces of Ambazonia. During the occasion, the commander showed the minister some of the sophisticated and high-power guns that the military claims to have seized from the pro-independence fighters.
The Cameroun Defence Minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, was visiting Ambazonia following a very rough couple of months during which the Cameroun military has suffered heavy casualties on the battlefield with defeats that have forced the military to park out of some towns and villages in Ambazonia.
Sources close to the coalition of contender forces of Ambazonia have concurred that the recent acquisition of large quantities of sophisticated weapons for the fighters has helped to push out Cameroon military from some of the territorial space of Ambazonia. A source with the Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF) hinted that, Cameroon’s military was now present only in some big towns such as Limbe (Victoria), Kumba, and Buea. He added that “the Ambazonia Defense Forces and its allies will make Ambazonia unbearable for them”.
Joseph Beti Assomo later left for the city of Limbe where he saw the extent of the fire damage that has put the SONARA oil refinery out of business. Meanwhile, A senior researcher at Human Rights Watch has supported the information about the growing strength of the coalition of Ambazonian Defence forces. Speaking recently, she estimated that the ranks of Ambazonian Separatist fighters have reached an all-time high of 3000 soldiers. Ilaria Allegrozzi who has been refused entry into Cameroun by the government in Yaoundé because of her human rights research work told reporters in Paris that, the fighters have also been stockpiling sophisticated weapons and support for the independence of Ambazonia keeps growing locally and in the diaspora population.