Separatist General Tiger was speaking at the South West Governor’s Office in Buea Wednesday, November 18, 2020, in the company of ten others presented as repentant Amba fighters.
Administrative authorities told media men and women that the eleven armed men were fighting in the bushes in Lebialem but decided to surrender and join the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration, DDR, Center in Buea.
General Tiger said he produced most of the guns, artisanal explosives, and assorted weapons displayed at the esplanade of the South West Governor’s Office. It is with the weapons that they led their war for the independence of a country they call Ambazonia – a geographical allusion to Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions.
“In the past, we thought one had to be connected to a senior government official or had to pay some money in order to be admitted into the DDR Centre. We did not know that government was indeed open to receive us from the bushes,” one of the repentant fighters said. “I am giving an opportunity for my friends who are still in the bushes to come out. Government is forgiving. We are doing fine at the DDR center. Let us stop the kidnappings, killing, and destruction. It is very easy to get the fighters to drop their weapons. They just need some persuasion.”
The authorities saluted the amba fighters for dropping their weapons and embracing the olive branch offered to them by the Head of State President Paul Biya.
“As you can see, we have different weapons of different calibers. I want to seize this opportunity to call on those who are still in the bush to follow this example by dropping their weapons and seize the opportunity given to them by the Head of State,” said Dr. Mohammadu, Secretary-General at the South West Governor’s Office. “At the DDR center, the repentant fighters will be fed, given medical care, and also a future. The DDR has more than eight different sectors of training for reintegration into society.”
Cameroon’s state forces have been battling to dislodge armed separatists who pitched their tents in the North West and South West Regions since Anglophone protests transformed into an armed conflict in 2017.
Corporate demands by Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone Teachers led to protests in November 2016. The street demonstrations later morphed into ongoing running gun battles between state forces and armed separatist fighters in the predominantly English-speaking regions, leading to untold destruction of human lives, their habitats, and livelihoods.
Tit-for-tat killings, kidnappings, arsons, maiming, and outright terror have become part of daily lives in some parts of the English-speaking regions.