Several trucks of soldiers have reportedly trooped into the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon since Monday, September 2021.
Though it’s been a routine to see such combat-ready troops invade different parts of the two English-speaking regions amidst the ongoing armed conflict.
It’s almost a routine with the Biya government militarizing the two regions before October 1, a day many in the regions pause to reflect on the independence of the British Southern Cameroons that occurred on October 1, 1961.
The October 1 frenzy has gained even more attention with the sudden resistance imposed on the Yaoundé regime by Ambazonian fighters who are bent on restoring the statehood of the then British Southern Cameroons. In 2017, a never-seen-before crowd of peaceful protesters marched on September 22, and October 1, attracting international sympathy on the myriad of challenges the common Anglophone goes through in the French-dominated state. Confirmed sources counted over 1,500 deaths and over 5,000 arrests.
Despite the heavy fatalities incurred and intimidations from the Cameroon military, the peaceful protesters remained resolute, using only peace plants and Molotov cocktails to defend themselves.
Such crackdowns which were predominant on October 1, 2017, multiplied in all nooks and crannies in the two English-speaking regions.
Bookmakers posited that the heavy military brutality meted on peaceful protesters having only peace plants, greatly fuelled the armed conflict currently rocking the two regions.
Those peaceful protesters suddenly ran to the bushes, fortified themselves with local charms, and then resurfaced with dame guns, facing off with the Cameroon military with all sophisticated war ammunitions.
The first attack by Amba fighters took place in Agborkem German in Manyu Division, with four gendarmes killed in a guerrilla attack in November 2017.
The attack inspired many young Anglophones to pick up arms against the state, rendering the Northwest and Southwest Region ungovernable.
Desperate efforts implored by the government of Cameroon to contain the increased attacks by deploying war ammunitions and some of its finest combatants proved futile as the ideological warfare grew among juveniles.
Away from the battlefield, the government has introduced a series of political solutions to contain the conflict to no avail.
Since 2017 that the Ambazonia fighters made the two English-speaking regions ungovernable, they have introduced several ways to celebrate the October 1 independence of Southern Cameroons. On October 1, 2018, several videos of Anglophones marching past different grandstands in celebration of Independence Day, went viral online. The celebrations were unlike 2017 that the population marched past with peace plants.
This time around, the population marched past with Ambazonian flags and were sandwiched with heavily armed fighters who sounded uncountable shots in the air in respect of the Ambazonian republic.
Such celebration styles have characterized all October 1 commemoration days thereafter irrespective of the heavy military deployment in the two regions.
The separatist fighters have energized the population who now have a fresh impetus and are defying the intimidation from the Cameroon military to celebrate the Southern Cameroons Independence Day.