Michael F. Lysinge AmbaNews24 Correspondent, Buea
A Toyota Hilux 4 x 4 owned and operated by the Cameroun elite military, the Rapid Intervention Batallion, and known by its French acronym as BIR was ambushed by the Ambazonia Defense Forces in Misselele early Tuesday.
Two gunmen targeted the driver with sniper shots.
The ambush led to the vehicle running over on its sides into the nearby palms, killing all 6 military personnel on board.
A call to the Commander of the Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF) in the area confirms the military action was intended to stop the advance of Cameroun military and in Ambazonia. He insisted that there will no longer be freedom of movement of minerals, agricultural products, and military personnel from the war-torn Ambazonia into Cameroun.
Since 2017, the ADF has been waging an Ambazonia war of independence to liberate the erstwhile UN Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroun’s from annexation, oppression, and dominion by the Republic of Cameroun and create a sovereign country that its people call, “Ambazonia”.
These military operations are occurring despite calls by the UN Secretary-General for a universal ceasefire in all conflicts to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Ambazonia Governing Council last month issued a declaration stating it cannot implement a universal ceasefire that will give Cameroun the opportunity to move into Ambazonian neighborhoods, kill civilians and burn down Ambazonian towns and villages unhindered.
The European Union last week responded to this Declaration, restating its support for negotiations that can lead to a ceasefire. The Cameroun government has so far refused to consent to any peaceful negotiations, preferring a military option.
In response, the leader of the Ambazonia self-determination cause, Dr. Cho Ayaba, who is President of the Ambazonia Governing Council has told the Ambazonian people: “Don’t Blink!”
The military operations in Misselele are certainly an implementation of this “Don’t Blink” principle.
Covid-19 is ravaging Cameroun and its economy is at the brink of collapsing. The government has been seeking international loans from the IMF and issuing high-interest-rate bonds to enable it to keep public services running. Amidst amid apparent collapse of Yaounde, dictator Paul Biya maintains a recalcitrant and arrogant attitude, refusing to negotiate the exit of Cameroun from Ambazonia that it annexed in September 1961.
Over 10,000 people have died on both sides. More than 900,000 children have been out of school for three years due to the ongoing liberation struggle. About 60,000 civilians have fled to Nigeria as refugees.
The United Nations estimates that the war has affected over 4.5million people, with 1.5million internally displaced and in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.