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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Biya’s Final Push For Southern Cameroons: A journey of many dangers


President Paul Biya has again ordered a massive deployment of French Cameroun troops to Southern Cameroons.  Many political analysts now think that the war in Ambazonia is going to take another twist. But the French Cameroun soldiers are now moving only on the streets of some key towns in the Fako County including Bamenda in the Northern Zone.

The Biya military strategy is to bring about 15,000 army soldiers and gendarmerie to the doorstep of Buea the historic capital of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia that has some 8,000 Ambazonia Restoration Forces in the outskirts of Muyuka, Tiko, Muyenge and Muea ready to take over the city. The war is not going well for French Cameroun military commanders, but taking the fight to Buea and Bamenda has always been what Yaoundé wanted at least to paint a picture of victory to the international community.

French Cameroun Defense Minister Beti Assomo, the Minister Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh and ailing General Rene Meka are now developing several strategies for the days ahead in Southern Cameroons.

One bold approach under consideration is to remilitarize the city of Victoria-Limbe, the main highway linking Muyuka, Tiko and Buea.  Another would employ mechanized division to protect Francophone schools in Limbe and Buea to ensure a back to school for French speaking Cameroonians still residing in Southern Cameroons.  Either way, Biya and French Cameroun are about to enter a complex phase of the war in the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.

Cameroon Intelligence Report understands the military regime in Yaoundé is making a transition and as a result, it is changing the tactics and techniques of the Southern Cameroons war due to enormous pressure from the international community.

We gathered that instead of the usual maneuvering in the forest and grass fields of both the Southern and Northern Zones of Ambazonia that has claimed the lives of hundreds of French Cameroun soldiers, the French Cameroun military will be operating in the towns and cities. The weapon of choice will no longer be the AK47s, but small arms will be dished out to French Cameroun servicemen and women dressed  in civilian clothing. The deployment will also be different. Instead of being compact in barracks, they will be spread out in hotels.

For their part, Ambazonia Vice President Dabney Yerima has ordered Southern Cameroonians not to send their children to school due to the heavy deployment of French Cameroun forces in the territory. The exiled Ambazonian leader told Cameroon Intelligence Report that Southern Cameroons Restoration Forces will attack French Cameroun soldiers wherever and whenever with reliable intelligence about the location and inner workings of those troops stationed in hotels.

The final push in Southern Cameroons is also an attempt to intimidate the Fulanis of the Far North region who some reports have hinted are mobilizing to take up arms against the Biya regime. A special French Cameroun military aircraft has been transporting soldiers to the Far North region in their numbers recently. Yaoundé has so far observed that the Far North redeployments are for combating Boko Haram.

Urban warfare is most certain in this phase of the war in Southern Cameroons and the fighting is going to be centered in Buea, Limbe, Tiko, Bamenda and Kumba.  French Cameroun’s security apparatus still controls Buea, Tiko and Limbe in the Fako County and in recent days, the Biya Francophone regime seems to be taken a variety of steps to send a message to the international community that Biya remains in control, including his recent decree decongesting the prisons.

However, the recent blackout in Yaoundé has been seen by some French Cameroun government officials that Biya and the CPDM no longer control basic services. Military deployments in Yaoundé of late also indicate that a major figure is about leaving the country through the back door. This last push in Southern Cameroons may as well be Biya last journey of many dangers.


By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai