Security and defence officials in the crisis-hit South West Region of Cameroon have said the security situation “is improving” in the ongoing Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. This comes as they continue battling with Ambazonia separatist fighters.
The most senior army official in the Region, Col Onambele Louis, who commands the 21st Motorised Infantry Brigade in Buea, told journalists the South West is getting calmer.
He made the statement yesterday after a joint security evaluation meeting chaired by Cameroon’s Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Rene Claude Meka.
“Now, the security situation is calm, and it’s improving. We are backing our population, who are giving us a lot of intel at this point. So the situation is improving,” said Col. Onambele.
The country’s security and defence forces continue to clash with Ambazonia fighters in the English-speaking North West and South West Regions, who want to create an independent state.
The army says it has dismantled many separatist hideouts in the two Regions this year, killing some prominent fighters.
Notable among them was the killing of the self-proclaimed General RK of Belo (North West) and Bake Francis, aka FM Bitter Kola, of Konye (South West).
Both fighters, who were prominent among the separatist ranks, were ambushed and killed in September.
However, insecurity still remains a major challenge in the two Anglophone Regions. The separatist resistance remains quite active in many areas.
Government offices are still inactive in many towns and villages. Also, many traditional rulers, Mayors and other local authorities are still unable to return to their areas after fleeing from separatist fighters.
Yesterday’s military outing in Buea was not the first time Cameroonian public officials claimed the return of peace in the Anglophone Regions.
Public officials have, over the years, trumpeted a return to peace and normalcy
However, civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict, with over 6,000 people estimated to have been killed since 2016.
According to a recent report by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy for Africa (CHRDA), 116 people died in the two regions between January and June of this year.
September was a bloody month, marked by several attacks on civilians and a two-week separatist lockdown.