How Biya government is using aid against Boko Haram to fight Anglophone separatists
Over the past weeks, Mimi Mefo Info has reported extensively on the crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.
Several institutions have been hardest hit and have had to take huge pay cuts for their staff to meet up with costs.
The government is not spared from the harsh realities. Days back, it was revealed that the government supports the virtually limping Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, with the sum of FCFA 2.5 billion monthly.
Government resources are becoming overstretched and the results are becoming more evident by the day.
As part of efforts to sustain its four-year-long crackdown on its citizens in the North West and South West Regions, and as an alternative to dialogue, the Yaoundé government of aging president Paul Biya has been diverting support meant for combatting Boko Haram in the country’s Far North.
From military helicopters to armored vehicles, finances, intelligence devices, and foot soldiers, the Biya regime has left no violent option off the table.
In an investigative report, by Chris W.J Roberts and Billy Burton, counterterrorism efforts in the Far North are seen to have weakened as government transfers its attention and scare resources to pursue a war in the Anglophone regions – a war it will likely not win.
The reports done after two years of painstaking research using GIS tools and open-source data analysis note that from significant military investments in the Anglophone regions, anti-terrorism devices from the Far North are now stationed in strategic military facilities in the troubled English-speaking regions.
“Mack Defense Fortress armored personnel carriers (APCs), donated by the United States for use in the Far North, have been observed at bases and on operations in the Anglophone regions. U.S.-supplied C-130 Hercules aircraft, long relied on to resupply troops in the Far North, have been spotted regularly at the Bamenda Airport. A British firm recently won a five-year support contract to keep them in the air. Two used Bell 412 helicopters were delivered in 2019, at least one directly from the United States, and are now based at the BIR camp in Limbe in the Southwest region, augmenting two already in service,” a portion of the report reads.
The same information was correlated by another report by a group monitoring the situation in the Anglophone regions.
“Cameroon has also invested heavily in new armored vehicles that have been regularly spotted in the Anglophone regions, but no evidence has yet been seen of any deployment to the Far North. UAE-based MSPV has exported a number of Panthera vehicles to Cameroon, with the police, gendarmerie, and army operating them. Photographic evidence also exists of heavy Chinese 07P IFVs being operated in the Anglophone regions, once a mainstay in the battles against Boko Haram in the Far North,” an excerpt reads.
With the Biya regime forging ahead with planned regional elections despite threats from armed separatists, it is almost certain that the rate of violence is going to soar and may not end soon as the civilian population bears the brunt.
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