US Congresswoman and Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Africa, Karen Bass has condemned the kidnapping of opposition candidates by Ambazonian fighters in the Anglophone regions.
The kidnappings she said “are counterproductive and not conducive to solving the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon”.
To her, “those advocating for independence must understand that preying on innocent Cameroonians who simply want to exercise their civic duties will not help them get any closer to an independent state”.
“I encourage separatists to commit to peacefully resolving the conflict in order for the country to have open and fair elections for all in 2020” she adds.
According to Mark Bareta, Diaspora Ambazonian activist however, Ambazonia Forces do not kidnap.
“They do what we call arrest. As fighters defending the restoration of Southern Cameroons statehood, stopping electioneering in Ambazonia is a human right. And that means using all means possible including arresting to halt or stop anyone involve in electioneering” he explained in a statement.
Those taking part in the electoral process he says “only empower Cameroun Government to continue her genocide in Southern Cameroons … It gives Cameroun a false acceptance of a so called one and indivisible Cameroons that includes the Ambazonia people”.
“Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass should know that Ambazonia is no part of Cameroun and we have no business in their election” Bareta adds.
To him, “the international community should be calling, intensifying and pressuring Biya to sit on the table and talk on a negotiated dialogue and settlement. They should be telling him that the only dialogue is between two peoples-Representatives of Cameroun and Ambazonia”.
“Their recent calls in the United Nations Security Council is good but must be complemented with bold and decisive actions” his statement went on.
Some politicians in the Anglophone regions have since been kidnapped with some held for ransom. Ambazonian fighters in the North West region have even gone as far as publishing a list of names of those they claim are ‘traitors’ for planning to take part in next year’s elections.
Several Anglophone politicians especially those of the SDF party have denied to run for the elections citing the political situation.