Saturday, September 15, 2018

Anglophone Crisis: Calabar, the gateway to the arms and mercenaries of Ambazonia


The Cameroonian navy intercepted, on the night of 6-7 September, three Nigerian ships, in which weapons were seized.Since then, the investigation is underway and eyes are turning to the port of Calabar, Nigeria.

A Cameroonian naval patrol vessel, the Sanaga, crossed in Cameroonian territorial waters, on the border of the maritime border between the North West region of Cameroon and Nigeria, around the Bakassi peninsula, when has surprised three Nigerian trawlers, named Olokun 1, 3 and 13 (Olokun being the god of the sea among the Yoruba), in an area yet banned fishing.

The Cameroonian navy then decided to board the three boats, on the basis of "reliable information indicating several possible entries to support the secessionists" Ambazon, according to Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesman for the army.

Olokun 1 having resisted and having been the subject of a "muscular approach", according to the staff of the Cameroonian army, the other two ships preferred to obey . The three trawlers were then searched. Forty mercenaries of foreign nationality were arrested, handed over to the National Gendarmerie and accused of possessing weapons of war, illegal fishing and illegal immigration.

"Delivery of an order"?

Many weapons and ammunition - AK 47, 12-gauge shotguns and 7.62mm cartridges - have also been discovered, as well as large sums of money. The three trawlers were then brought to the port of Limbe, where the investigation, the interrogations of the mercenaries and the analysis of the origin of the ships continues.

"These reinforcements envisaged large-scale attacks planned for September 15 in the two Anglophone regions in crisis," said Colonel Badjeck. "It's like delivering an order," says a security source.

Calabar, mercenary factory?

Since the beginning of the Anglophone crisis, the Bakassi region has once again become a major issue with regard to the security of Cameroon and Nigeria. The peninsula controls the access to the port of Calabar, Nigeria, where many Ambazonian fighters would reach, according to security sources, to exchange goods for weapons.

At the end of July, Ben Ayade, the Nigerian governor of Cross River State, where Calabar is located, had already sounded the alarm. "There is an influx of people [to the region of Calabar] through more than 27 illegal routes and they are bringing in goods of various kinds, selling them and using them to acquire weapons and recruit our young men and women mercenaries for the civil war in Cameroon, "he said.

In addition to Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria, many West African nationals flock to the port, taking advantage of the free movement in force in ECOWAS. As early as February 2017, Nigerian Justice Minister Joe Abang admitted: "Calabar has become THE transit port for traffickers".Since then, the situation has not improved much.


Source: jeuneafrique.com