By Maxcel Fokwen in Yaounde –
Some victims of separatist fighters’ excesses in the restive North West and South West regions have blamed world powers of pampering individuals who reside in their home countries, instigating and sponsoring “international terrorism” that has put thousands in a dire need.
The claim was made public at a press conference which the victims, under the banner of the Cameroon Association of Victims of Ambazonia Terrorism, CAVAT, granted in Yaounde on Friday, February 21.
According to the lead counsel of the victims of separatist activities, Barrister Emmanuel Nsalai, the diplomatic community in Cameroon and global powers should take their responsibility and apply laws pertaining to what he calls international terrorism perpetrated on civilians by Ambazonia activists.
Nsalai mentioned the United States of America, USA, France, Germany, United Kingdom, UK, Norway, Belgium and the European Union, EU, as having failed to engage actions to stop authors of “international terrorism” resident in their countries.
The lead counsel stated that these world powers should enforce and respect terrorism and conspiracy laws in their countries on separatist activists resident there. To Nsalai, the best solution to ending the humanitarian crisis in the restive North West and South West regions lies with these world powers taking action against Ambazonia activists resident in their countries.
The man of law said for everyone week that passes, these separatists based in western countries use the social media and other means to instigate and propagate “international terrorism” acts that lead to the loss of more lives.
Pleading on behalf of victims of separatists’ activities in these two regions whom he said were in their thousands, Nsalai charged the diplomatic community to take its responsibility and call the Ambazonians in their country to book.
“We know it is going to be a long fight. Having innocent civilians killed because of the international terrorism acts of these Ambazonians….. the victims’ association wants justice, they want peace..There are civil remedies for international terrorism. We should not let Cameroon slide into what Ambazonians want,” Barrister Nsalai told the journalists, adding that, other victims of such acts can seek remedy.
To the lawyer, for these activists to be forcing people to obey their dictates or be subjected to torture, kidnap, maiming of fingers and other dehumanising situation warrants urgent international action.
On what CAVAT has done, Nsalai said counsels for the victims have engaged a series of legal actions in the United States. He said they have succeeded in getting a temporary restraining order against some of the Ambazonia leaders. This act, Nsalai explained, limits their activities of threats to life and other actions that sustain the separatist move.
On his part, Dr. Samuel Ndongo, Executive President of the High Diaspora Council, told the press that it is not the entire Cameroonian Diaspora that is propagating the crisis in the English-speaking regions. He reassured the victims of the separatist acts that, the Diaspora will continue to advocate for an end to their suffering.
Ndongo lamented that the voices of the victims of the Anglophone crisis have not been heard. To him, more actions should be taken towards assuaging their plight. He cited the thousands of children not going to school and women and children especially subjected to humiliating experiences.
Yvonne Njocka, women leader of CAVAT said: “Everyone is a victim. Children who can’t go to school, families hosting internally displaced persons, IDPS, untimely burials and burying of relatives in areas other than their homes .
If you don’t agree to take up arms against the state, they fight you when they can’t fight the military but fighting innocent Cameroonians. If we don’t speak out, there will never be an end to our suffering. Women and children are the most vulnerable. The victims have a judicial need and we doubt the position of the diplomatic community”.
Elizabeth Mbinglo, who was presented as a victim of separatists’ activities, said: “Ambazonia fighters killed my two uncles in Nso and I escaped to Yaounde”. Mbinglo narrated how she escaped under duress to Yaounde but insisted on the need for justice and peace so that people can return to their homes.
Another lady presented to the press at the same outing said the separatists fighters accused her of not supporting their activities and vowed to kill her. She admitted having escaped from her home to seek refuge in Yaounde for fear of the unknown.
Ndue Derrick Ntungwe, Principal of PSST, Bafut said separatist opened fire on him and made viral videos on the social media accusing the military.
In a series of hinted exchanges with journalists over the use of the appellation “international terrorism”, Nsalai and his team insisted that the acts committed fits into such appellation. They argued that, Western powers do not have the monopoly to decide who a terrorist is.
Accused of meddling in politics, the CAVAT officials said they were simply advocating justice for victims of separatist activities. On the need for ceasefire and peace, the organisers of the press outing said they were in support of any move that will bring peace but claim their sole goal is for those they claim are victims of separatist excesses to have justice.
On whether he was fronting a course for the regime as the son of former Minister Christopher Nsalai, the lawyer said it is about victims of the crisis and not his father. To Barrister Nsalai, he is working for a group of people who have suffered at the hands of Ambazonians. The mother of the lawyer who attended the press conference said her son is not into politics.