Anglophone Crisis: Black Day on October 1?

In the past few days, military units were deployed to various departments of the Southern Cameroons. Reinforcements were stationed within regions including Bamenda, in the Mezam department, Kumbo in Bui department, and Ndop in Ngo-Ketunjia, all in the Northwest region. A similar exercise was equally noted in Kumba, the seat of the Meme region in the Southwest.

Notable among these security operations is the heavy deployment to Ngo-Ketunjia on 26 September 2021, when a convoy of 20 armoured vehicles reportedly arrived in the community.

The first reason that would come to mind to justify this show of force will be that this exercise is a response to the intermittent attacks on security personnel and posts, which is however not far-fetched.

On the other hand, considering the recent activities of the Ambazonian Defense Forces (ADF), which include restraint on movement and imposition of lockdown in the Southern Cameroons in anticipation of Ambazonian day. The deployments could be a probable attack strategy by the Cameroonian military to hit the militants hard during the celebrations – when they least expected.

The first day of October is celebrated by the Anglophone region as the unification day. It marks the independence of the Southern Cameroonians from British rule and its reunification with Francophone Cameroon in 1961.

As is customary, it is an important day celebrated by the anglophone population, including the separatists’ fighters. As such, the militants are likely to come out of their hideouts as celebration fills the air. This, however, will reveal their hideouts to military agents who have possibly been strategically positioned and infiltrated into these communities.

What lies ahead is unknown. Nonetheless, there are two possible outcomes. The celebration will lead to a massacre of secession agitators, shouts of jubilation will likely reveal their hiding spots and intelligence will circulate within the military through pre-positioned moles. 

Conversely, the event will go on despite military presence, although the ADF separatists militants may fail to celebrate to avoid betraying their stronghold. However, this will leave the rest of the population at the mercy of the military, who may begin random raids, arresting locals and torturing them for information on separatist hideouts as recorded in recent times.

The atmosphere reeks of impending danger in Southern Cameroon. In the past few days, residents scampered to stock up on essential food items during the eased lockdown days, as business activities are likely to be paralyzed temporarily on the proclaimed Ambazonia day.

October 2021 may go down in history as a black day for the secessionists and the locals. Nevertheless, the security forces are in no way excluded from the imminent threat.

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