Thursday, February 20, 2020

Anglophone Crisis: Paul Biya's regime bites its tongue in controversy

The controversy continues to swell around the event of February 14 in the North West. Pointed out as the main responsible for this carnage perpetrated by soldiers; he tries to clear himself without really convincing.

The UN and certain international NGOs have no difficulty in recognizing the responsibility of the Cameroonian army in the assassination of 22 civilians on February 14. While the state denies with the utmost ardor this "unfounded accusation", on the civilians' side, we no longer really know where to turn. When we know that this is not the first, even less the second or a third ... once the Cameroonian army is pinned for such abuses, there is reason to spark a "constructive controversy? among populations. In a recent outing, Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo "formally denies false allegations" about the role of the army in the massacre of 22 civilians in the Dong-Mantung department, ensuring that it was "an unfortunate accident" after exchanges of fire between the security forces and secessionist rebels. Controversy or delayed truth? in any case, the analysis of the situation is imbued with a certain number of paradoxical elements, enough to further inflame the controversy. 

Should we throw everything on the back of secessionist rebels? 

For the Cameroonian army, the plea is the result, it is an unfortunate incident which caused collateral damage to the victims. However when the news was published by Agence France Presse on Friday, then better on Sunday evening, the various accounts reported an unexpected attack by secessionist rebels, therefore the Cameroonian army had been caught off guard, if it is necessary to follow the logic of the facts. This is all the more compelling at the thought of knowing that there is an exchange of fire between rebel militias and the Cameroonian armed forces without loss of human life in either camp. But rather that the majority of the dead are innocent civilians. 

The paradox of the defense ministry statement

Blamed by the opposition mainly the MRC and certain local NGOs, who accuse him of being the sponsor of this massacre, the army still loudly proclaims that it is an "unfortunate accident, a collateral consequence of the security operations underway in these regions ”. Subtly we could surely go and find out, what confrontation is the Cameroonian army talking about? when we remember that in his exit the Minister of Communication RenĂ© Sadi evacuated the shadow of the slightest reproach against the Cameroonian army. "How can we think for a moment that an army as disciplined and as civic as ours, can perpetrate acts of looting of civilian property and massacres of the populations whose vocation it is to ensure protection and security? Never, 

"The Government therefore takes issue with the fanciful and gratuitous accusations made by political activists, by the sponsors of the secessionist armed bands, by Non-Governmental Organizations as well as by certain national and international media, against our Defense Forces and of security. Likewise, there is reason to be astonished at the credulity of these different actors who give credit to fallacious allegations drawn from any sources and lacking in any reliability, to the point of hastily making established certainties and truths, all things which translate their bad faith and their state of mind doomed permanently to the instrumentalization and the manipulation of opinion. The Cameroonian Government denounces with the latest energy, all these maneuvers, the purpose of which is to damage the image of Cameroon, and to systematically throw anathema on our institutions and our army, at the very moment when just successfully unfolded, transparency and equity throughout the territory national, the voting operations relating to the legislative and municipal double ballot of February 9, 2020. " , he thought he convinced. 

Have the secessionists no longer burst into this village before killing civilians as previously announced by local authorities and witnesses? Was the army present at the scene of the massacre and was unable to arrest a handful of rebels who had come in two vehicles? Despite the multiple declarations of senior Cameroonian army officials in an attempt to launder the fabric smeared by the numerous controversies surrounding the perpetrators of this massacre, it is good to remember, as Ho Chi Minh said, "that those who have nothing to do to reproach, hide even when a subject is raised ”.