On Saturday, officers of the Sixth Unit of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) donated foodstuffs and cash to the population of Ekenge village in Nguti Subdivision, South West Region.
The gesture came barely one week after the village population caught three Ambazonia separatist fighters and handed them to the military.
The BIR unit’s commander, Major Onana Gilles, handed out the donations during a civil-military action at Ekenge village on Saturday, October 7.
The Guardian Post reported that the officers donated food items like rice, vegetable oil, salt, onion, and food seasonings. They also offered the population some cash and medical supplies.
The officers applauded the population of Ekenge for their contribution to ending the bloody armed conflict that seized the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon in 2017.
Addressing the villagers, Major Onana Gilles urged them to remain patriotic by surrendering more fighters to the government, which has vowed to crush those who refuse to surrender.
The BIR commander affirmed that he and his colleagues had come to appreciate the Ekenge population for their action and commitment to ending atrocities Amba fighters have been committing.
The Ekenge population came out in their numbers to receive the military.
The medical team of the Sixth BIR Region, led by Dr Captain Ndjomotchoua, conducted on-the-spot consultations and distributed free medication to the population.
This October 1, a day Ambazonia separatists have commemorated as independence day, Ekenge villagers caught three of the fighters and handed them to the military.
The fighters had reportedly come out to force the villagers to accompany them in their October 1 celebrations when they met their waterloo.
Separatists have often forced people to side with them in the past and any opposition is usually met with brutality and even death.
The fighters have killed several civilians in the past one month for disregarding their lockdown calls or for promoting school resumption.
Soldiers have also been faulted severely for abusing and killing civilians in the North West and South West.
They have been accused of torturing and massacring civilians for not giving up separatist fighters in their areas.
Both belligerents have either forced or tried to lure the population to their side in the conflict that has seen more than 6,000 civilian deaths.
Ekenge village is the latest of several communities that have risen up against separatists in the last few years. This was not the first time people from Nguti Subdivision were standing up against separatist fighters.
In April 2021, the Chiefs and elites of Ntali, a village in Nguti Subdivision, publicly condemned the activities of Amba fighters.
They took decisive action by apprehending over 10 fighters and handing them over to the military.
In October 2022, the population of Mbetta, located in Upper Nkongho, Nguti Subdivision, also captured five Amba boys and handed them over to soldiers.
Ambazonia fighters have often termed people who oppose them or who side with the military as “blacklegs”.
Last Wednesday, fighters in Guzang village in Batibo, North West Region, publicly executed two men whom they tagged as black legs.
The incident drew wide condemnations, including from some members of the separatist movement.