By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The government of Cameroon through its spokesperson Rene Emmanuel Sadi has confirmed that the two attacks, one in Galim, Bamboutous Division, West Region and Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon has left 8 persons dead and 7 injured.
Local media reports, however, say the figure is much higher. The attacks were reportedly orchestrated by men linked to separatist forces in the North West and South West Regions.
The attack in Galim was carried out on a gendarmerie brigade and police station Saturday, March 7, 2020, living at least 7 people including two gendarmes, two police officers and three civilians dead. The second attack during women’s day celebration in Bamenda left a soldier dead, and seven others injured according to reports.
The armed men are said to have been on board motorbikes and reported to have made away with weaponry before fleeing towards Bafanji in the North West Region. This may well suggest that the attack might have come from members of the Non-State Armed Group seeking to make of the country’s North West and South West Regions an independent country christened Ambazonia.
Security is said to have been increased in the locality to foil any other such attacks.
This attack in Galim follows two previous attacks on the West region — one on December 22, 2018, and the other on January 6, 2020. In December 2018, armed men stormed Bangourain killing at least one person and kidnapping others. Inhabitants of this locality in the Noun Division of the West Region blamed the armed men for over sixty houses burnt down following the attack.
In January this year, some nine unidentified armed men suspected to be separatist fighters reportedly attacked a Gendarmerie post in Bangourain carrying away arms and weapons.
Women’s Day explosion leave one dead, several others injured
An explosion at the Commercial Avenue in Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon, during the 2020 Women’s day celebration claimed the life of an individual according to reports, while others were injured.
The explosion occurred while the Governor of the North West Region Adolphe Lele Lafrique delivered a speech relating to the celebration of International Women’s Day. The device is reported to have been placed at the grandstand overnight.
At least one soldier was killed and seven other persons wounded after an explosion on Sunday around the Commercial Avenue in Bamenda, the government has said. Among the seven other persons injured were four soldiers, two policemen and one civilian who were all transported to the hospital for proper medical attention.
The explosion occurred around 10am not far from the grand stand where festivities to mark the International Women’s Day was taking place. It occurred less than 24 hours after that of Galim in the West Region in which scores of persons were killed, including two police officers, two gendarmes and a civilian lost their lives.
However, the explosion did not hinder festivities of the International Women’s Day to go on as the Governor of the North West Region Adolphe Lele LAfrique called on the population to remain calm and said investigations have been opened to track down the perpetrators of the crime, Journal du Cameroun reported.
Government spokesperson René Emmanuel Sadi said: “The Government firmly condemns these despicable acts perpetrated by criminals whose sole objective is to sow chaos to serve selfish interests, and conveys to the families of the military and civilian victims the sincere condolences of the President of the Republic, Head of the armed forces, as well as the comfort of the entire Cameroonian people to the wounded.”
“In addition, in view of the extent of the damage caused by the secessionist terrorists, the National Defense and Security Forces launched a search operation of the area and arrangements were made for increased security in the locality of Galim,” He added.
The President of the Republic of Cameroon Paul Biya had promised tougher days for the armed groups. Speaking to the nation Tuesday, December 31, 2019, President Paul Biya said the country’s military will fight in all professionalism to protect all citizens.
“For those who persist in going down the wrong road and continue to use violence, we will have no other choice than to combat them to protect all our fellow citizens. Our Defence and Security Forces will, once again, perform their duty with restraint, but without weakness. I wish to reassure them of my full support and high esteem,” Biya warned.
The President agreed that without a doubt, the security situation in the North West and South West regions is one of the most urgent problems at the moment. He regretted that, “The criminal activities of armed groups continue to disrupt public, economic, and social life in these regions, yet various measures have been taken in recent months to reason with these youths, most of whom have been brainwashed. They have been called upon to lay down their weapons, and social reintegration prospects have been offered them.”