Since February 2019, the transfer of money from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the North West and South West regions of Cameroon has been an uphill task. “I live in Qatar. I tried sending money through MoneyGram to my family in the North West of Cameroon but was told it was not possible.
No official reason was given for such an abrupt stop». Our source in Qatar declared.
Curiously enough, Cameroonians in Qatar attest that the impossibility to wire money home is affecting just the Anglophone Regions while it’s possible to transfer money to the other eight regions of the country through the same money transfer agency without any issue.
This has caused these desperate Cameroonians(most of whom are Anglophones) to wire money to relatives in the French speaking part of Cameroon from where the money is sent to those in the North West and South West Regions.
For those who want to send money directly to the North West and South West Regions, they have resorted to Western Union.
To one of them, “We abandoned Western Union because of high transfer charges plus a policy that one cannot send more than two hundred thousand francs to a relative in English speaking Cameroon”. He explains that when such an amount is sent, the receiver is obliged to create an account with the agency (Western Union) before receiving the money.
Bertin Kisob, a Cameroonian living in the United State of America narrates his ordeal. “MoneyGram blocked me from sending money to Cameroon in 2017.At first, I did not understand but only discovered later that it had to do with the arrest and detention of my brother. He was arrested in Bamenda,transported to Yaounde and detained for engaging in a hunger strike against bad governance”. He explains that since then, he has not been able to send money to Cameroon through MoneyGram.
Anglophone militiamen also known as the Ambazonia fighters, challenging the authority of the government of Cameroon in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon continue to fight despite all odds.
From the use of local artisanal weapons at the beginning of 2017, today the amba boys showcase and fight with weapons matching those of the military.
This has placed the Cameroon security service in a tight corner leading to the conclusion that external support is largely responsible for the successes recorded by the Ambazonia fighters.
This, some commentators say has possibly led the regime of Paul Biya to resort to blocking funds from abroad to people in the anglophone regions of the country.
People in these two regions are often questioned and made to fill forms originating from the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon are often questioned and obliged to fill forms detailing the purpose of the money they receive from abroad through this agency.
Note that, Ambazonia leaders in the diapora practically command the process for the restoration of Ambazonia Statehood back in the anglophone regions of Cameroon. The government is doing all to weaken the struggle and stop the war by stopping the funding they suspect comes from abroad.
Consequently, innocent anglophones who only depend on relatives abroad for survival are today feeling the pinch of economic hardship coupled with the fact that weekly ghost towns and frequent lockdowns have paralyzed activities in the regions.
In January 2019, the national station announced that MoneyGram and Western Union services in Cameroon were perturbed after the government obliged both international money transfer agencies to increase their commissions.
MoneyGram and Western Union who rose against the move said it was either they increase transfer charges or see their benefits drop drastically.
Dominic Meme Nwakimo
Mimi Mefo Info