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Ambazonia, Cameroon Separatists Celebrate ‘Independence’ As Biya Calls For Dialogue |The Republican News

By Moki Edwin Kindzeka

KUMBA, CAMEROON – English-speaking Cameroonians came out in huge numbers on Oct. 1 to celebrate what they call their independence day, declared by separatist leaders in 2017.

“We are celebrating our independence,” said Godlove Azeng, 31, “and at the same time asking the president of Cameroon, Paul Biya, to remove his military from our territory and asking him to free our leader [Julius] Ayuk Tabe who is jailed in his country.”

Separatist leader Ayuk Tabe was arrested in Nigeria with 47 of his supporters and extradited to Cameroon in January 2018. In August, he was given a life sentence by a military tribunal in Yaounde that found him guilty of crimes including secession and hostilities against the state.

The Oct. 1 celebrations marked the second anniversary since separatists in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions proclaimed an independent state they call Ambazonia.

During the gatherings, nine people were reported killed in gun battles with the military in Kumbo, the Northwest villages of Kikaikom and Mbveh, and the Southwest towns of Kumba and Mamfe.

Deben Tchoffo, governor of the English-speaking Northwest region, says government troops are deployed to protect citizens and Cameroon’s territorial integrity.

“Most of those areas have been secured by our security forces,” Tchoffo said. “Cameroon is ruled by laws and regulations and we are going to take our responsibility to secure the villages and while waiting, I am asking the population of the Northwest region to remobilize themselves [against those who want separation].”

The U.N. reports that the separatist war has forced more than 530,000 people to flee their homes since the conflict erupted in late 2017. It says at least 2,000 civilians and 300 defense and security forces have lost their lives in the war.

National dialogue 

A government-run dialogue ordered by Biya and aimed at resolving the separatist crisis is under way in Yaounde.

Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, left, talks with Cameroonian veteran opposition leader John Fru Ndi at the Congress Palace during the opening session of the National Dialogue called by President Biya, in Yaounde, Cameroon, Sept. 30, 2019.
FILE – People gather at the Congress Palace during the opening session of the National Dialogue called by President Paul Biya, in Yaounde, Cameroon, Sept. 30, 2019.

Separatist backers who live outside Cameroon refused to attend, demanding the government first release Ayuk Tabe and accept negotiations led by the Swiss government.

On social media, they say no talks can start until Biya withdraws troops from English-speaking regions of Cameroon as a sign he has accepted their independence.

Political analyst and U.S.-based Cameroonian Humphrey Nsonka, who is taking part in the national dialogue, says it is unfortunate Cameroon is not doing enough to quell the anger of English-speakers in the country, where French is the majority language.

He says the best option for Cameroon is a federal state, a concept the government rejects in favor of decentralization.

“The huge numbers of people that came out in almost all the villages and towns is an indication of how much English-speaking Cameroonians are disgruntled with the domineering attitude of the French majority,” Nsonka said. “I think Cameroon should consider [a] federal state with the Anglophones on one part and French speakers on the other.”

Source: VOA

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Ortom Raises Alarm Over Impending ‘Massive Benue Invasion’ By Fulani Herdsmen

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

– Solicits people’s prayers to avert impending catastrophe

By Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortomof Benue State has raised the alarm over a planned invasion of the state by suspected herdsmen even as he urged Benue people to intensify prayers to avert the impending invasion.
The Governor, who spoke at the funeral service for the late Mama Atese Rebecca Terkpe at the NKST Church, Taraku in Gwer Local Government Area of the state, disclosed that from the security reports available to him, the herders have concluded plans to invade the state in order to subvert the implementation of the anti-open grazing law.
He explained further that according to security reports, Fulani herdsmen across the West African sub region were planning to invade the state even as he called on the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria to organize prayers and fasting for divine intervention.
Governor Ortom, who restated his stance that the anti-open grazing law remained the best solution for restoring peace between farmers and herders, enjoined the people of the state to support its implementation which he said was imperative.
While also appealing to the people to shun communal violence over land but rather resort to dialogue in the resolution of disputes, the Governor posited that lives and property lost during the crisis could not be replaced.
He described the deceased as a God fearing woman who raised her offspring in the fear of God and also impacted positively on her society.
In his sermon, Rev. J. I. Buruku enjoined Christians to embrace the light so as to escape the works of darkness.
Son-in-law of the deceased, Mr Stephen Amase, in his vote of thanks, expressed appreciation to those who made spiritual and material contributions towards the funeral as well as those who took the time to personally pay last respects.  (The Sun)

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