As Southern Cameroonians and activists celebrate what they believe to be the day of Independence of Ambazonia, October 1st, Mimi Mefo Info spoke to Paul Nilong, the Media Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Self Defense and Security of the Interim Government of the “Federal Republic of Ambazonia” to get the IG’s views on the significance of October 1st to the people of the Southern Cameroons.
“La Republique du Cameroon,” he says “From the onset has wanted to destroy the value and importance of October 1st.” He claimed. Paul Nilong maintained that the significance of the date is being wiped out from history by the system in Cameroon given that none of it has ever been taught or included in the pedagogic curriculum of Cameroon.
“We were given fictitious dates of 20th May and 11th February and taught to uphold a unitary state that died a long time ago,” Paul Nilong declared.
As part of the Sako Ikome led Interim Government, charged with the burden of adhering to the needs of anglophone refugees now in Nigeria, Paul Nilong admitted that it nevertheless was never planned to have Southern Cameroonians become refugees in another country.
“… we planned to protect and secure the lives of our people after having over 300 villages burnt and 30,000+ others murdered,” he says. “Take note however that we are at war, and these are some of the effects encountered during such periods which our people will have to bear. We believe that order will return one day and we will rebuild our country again,” he assured.
Paul Nilong went a step further to emphasize that the struggle at the moment aims to “Make Ambazonia ungovernable… We don’t care whether Yaoundé breathes or not, we are going to destroy the shackles and burden that Yaoundé has placed on Ambazonia,” he declared.
Achieving this, Paul Nilong pointed to the increasing firepower of the Separatists fighters which he says has grown from strength to strength over the past five years.
“Yesterday we started this revolution with catapults and sticks, then to Dane guns, then AK-47s… Now we have modified IEDs and we equally own a rocket launcher already,” he boasted. “Our IEDs have been modified to create heavy impact. You see them yourselves what they can do, and it will continue thus until Yaoundé gives up the fight,” he insisted.
Quizzed about the recent lockdown of 2 weeks imposed in the English-speaking regions, Paul Nilong said it was a show of strength and to pass a message to the Yaoundé regime on “Who controls things in Ambazonia”, he revealed.
Commenting on the situation of schools in the Anglophone Regions, Paul Nilong said the Interim Government had never denied schools from operating in the Anglophone Regions.
“We have merely warned the parents of children and told them that their security is not guaranteed… About a month ago, a 9-year-old was shot in a class by the military in Kumbo. That’s why we insinuate that there is no security for schools to be operational.”
The Interim Government through Paul Nilong believes that the conflict can be resolved on dialogue, but with the conditional presence of a third and neutral party.
“Third-party negotiation is all there is, and we’re waiting for La Republique du Cameroun in Switzerland.”