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LRC’s Military Pivots Westward, Creates Legion in Bamenda

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The military of the colonial La Republique has created a new legion base in the Northern zone precisely Bamenda under the pretext of seeing into the ”security needs” of the region, according to the state-broadcaster CRTV.

In a series of authorized directives by colonial President Paul Biya, the country’s armed forces are being reorganized which has resulted in the split of former military regions known as Region Militaire Interarmees (RMIA-2) based in Douala, into two.

To be stationed in the Northern zone’s headquarter of Bamenda, the new legion is the fifth of its kind. To be led by one General Agha Robinson Ndong. The move is a calculated and strategic attempt to prolong the ongoing conflict in the Southern Cameroons. As clashes with security personnel against pro-independence fighters have become more deadly, Yaounde is seeking ways to reassert itself as the crisis continues.

Pro-independence fighters are determined more than ever as the sporadic attacks targeting LRC soldiers rages on.

While La Republique is assuring security, through curfews, heavy military presence on the streets and having supposedly detained leaders of the Interim Government allegedly extradicted from Nigeria, these have only tested the resolved of the pro-independence movement as clashes persist.

Bearing the burden of the ongoing conflict is Nigeria, where the influx of Southern Cameroonians seeking refuge has only increased. The UNHCR has recorded some 40,000 people to have crossed into neighboring Nigeria over the last few months.

What started back in 2017 as a peaceful protest by Anglophone lawyers and teachers over French-dominated work environment and marginalization, has morphed into the worst challenge yet to Biya’s 35-years stay in power as he gears toward seeking reelection sometime this year.

The brutal crackdown by the Biya-led government has bolstered the support for the secessionist movement, once considered a fringe element, fueling a cycle of violence. October 1, 2017, a declaration of independence of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia through marches was met by reprisals, raids forcing some 2,300 people to flee into Nigeria on a single day.

The end of WW II saw the former colony of vanquished Germany, Kamerun partitioned between allies France and Britain, laying the groundwork for the cultural and linguistical divide which were to come.

Less than a fifth of the population of the Cameroons is made up of predominantly English-speaking living in the former British Southern Cameroons, bordered by Nigeria to the West and La Republique to the East. The two were joined after a 1961 Plebiscite to be administrative as separate states of equal status, but the French majority government which has led the political life since then has not lived up to the spirit of that agreement.

 

 

Neba Benson,

BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst

 

 

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