Ambazonia Militants Kill Five Gendarmes in South-West Cameroon

Five Cameroonian security force personnel, including the Eyummodjock Brigade Commander, were killed in an attack by members of the Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF) over the weekend.

What You Need to Know

Despite Paul Atanga Nji, Minister of Territorial Administration, claiming just days ago that armed separatists had been eradicated in the North and South West, the ADF militants removed the weapons and ammunition from the deceased before burning their bodies as well as the vehicle they were traveling in.

Manyu Department, in Anglophone Cameroon, where the attack took place.

According to the Journal du Cameroun, five soldiers were killed in an attack in 2020 in the same area. The attack comes just one day after exiled ADF activist Ngong Emmanuel, alias ‘Capo Daniel’, called for the establishment of dialogue between his former group and the Cameroonian government.

However, the government has continuously stated its policy of non-negotiation with terrorist groups.

Who Are The ADF?

The Ambazonia Defense Forces were formed in 2017 in an attempt to establish the independent state of Ambazonia, in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. As a result, the Cameroonian government has waged an ongoing counter-insurgency operation in the North and South West, where the ADF is active.

Anglophone Cameroon. Source: ResearchGate

However, the crisis continues, as seen through the separatist group’s latest attack.

Referred to as the ‘Anglophone crisis’, the conflict is the result of the ‘Anglophone problem’ in Cameroon. The Anglophone problem refers to the existence of a minority group of English-speaking Cameroonians in the North and South West of the country, with the surrounding regions populated with French-speaking Cameroonians, with both languages cemented during the colonial period.

However, French has remained the dominant language in the country, particularly in administration, education, and media. This de facto domination is the root of the Anglophone problem and a key cause of the country’s civil war. However, in recent years, the ADF has suffered various splits, the loss of some of its top commanders, and faced allegations of attacking English-speaking civilians in the regions in which it operates, with these factors contributing to the group’s loss of authority.

In April 2023, Capo Daniel resigned from the ADF and entered exile in Hong Kong. From there, he established the Ambazonia Dark Forces and called for his members to abduct journalists in retaliation for protests conducted by media workers over the ADF killing of the regional bureau chief of The Advocate newspaper.

Most recently in January of this year, Cameroonian government forces captured ADF General ‘Efang’, alias ‘Big Number.’

Efang replaced General Ivo in December 2018 after Ivo was killed as the result of suspected infighting within the group, although his cause of death has never been confirmed by the ADF.

So, What Now?

It is unlikely the Anglophone crisis in the country is to come to an end anytime soon, with deep grievances needing to be addressed at the governmental level. However, the Cameroonian government has continuously made its stance clear, stating it will not negotiate with terrorists.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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