Buea, December 1, 2019
*Attack on a civilian aircraft at the Bafut Airport*
There was an attack on a civilian aircraft, MA60 operated by the Cameroon Airlines Company (CAMAIRCO at the Bamenda Airport on Sunday 1 December 2019. We understand that none of the passengers or crew were hurt and the plane landed safely.
It is unfortunate, that some media houses both within La République du Cameroun and abroad were misled into reporting that the attack was carried out by Southern Cameroons self-defense volunteers fending off the military invasion by La République du Cameroun since 2017. *Regrettably, these media outlets base their reports on propagandist messages recklessly propagated by some armed groups in search of unnecessary notoriety.*
The Consortium, through its civil society affiliates has investigated the incident and can affirm with certainty that the attack was not carried out by Southern Cameroons Restoration Forces. A careful investigation points to an attempt by La République du Cameroun to sully the credibility of the Southern Cameroons restoration quest. In as much as self-defense volunteers in several parts of Southern Cameroons possess the capacity to attack aircrafts, those within Mezam County, where the incident occurred, are yet to acquire such weaponry.
The circumstances and location indicate that it is the handiwork of Mr. Biya’s Field Commanders who are ardently trying to insulate their genocidal invasion by depicting the Restoration Forces as terrorists. The Consortium would like to draw the attention of the International community to the fact that the airport in question had long been transformed into a military/airbase and command centre for operations. It hosts a large contingent of Cameroun’s infantry and special forces trained to fight Boko Haram in the North, but relocated to the Southern Cameroons after Mr. Biya declared war on us in 2017. The area is sufficiently guarded and heavily fortified, thus making this kind of attack possible only from inside.
This is not the first attack by regime forces or its proxy militias. In fact, they attack hospitals, scorch villages, kill babies, women and the elderly, and carry out beheadings. Recently in October 2019, regime forces hijacked a passenger bus in Ngoketunjia to attack Restoration Forces on the Kumbo road, using the passengers as human shields. Confronted with this situation, the Restoration Forces tactically withdrew to avoid a bloodbath. The use of civilian vehicles, taxis and surveillance with trucks and planes painted in UN colours and insignia are all part of their modus operandi. In Menchum and Donga/Mantung, the genocidal army uses hospitals and schools as military bases.
*The attack on the aircraft is therefore a ploy by the government of La République du Cameroun to divert attention from its genocidal onslaught, draw sympathy from the international community and thus, declare a no-fly-zone to douse calls for a UN humanitarian intervention in the Southern Cameroons.*
In the same vein, we condemn the killing of a humanitarian worker in Donga /Mantung county by unidentified armed men. *While we have not been able to identify the perpetrators of this crime, we believe that it is not unconnected to the recent creation and spread of local militias in the area by the colonial governor, Mr. Adolphe Lele. Although this seems to be part of the invader’s strategy to fight the restoration forces, it is also an instrument of extortion and the fight against restorationist sympathies,* and so will target non-combattants as has been seen before.
We deplore these uncouth tactics by La République du Cameroun and call on the International Community to stop the catastrophe unfolding in the Southern Cameroons or face another Rwanda.