Dibussi Tande Profile picture
Feb 9, 2018 29 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Why is the insurgency in Southern Cameroons not dying out after arrest of leaders of Ambazonia Interim Govt supposedly behind it all? Is there a single "secessionist" movement or are there different grps with their own ideologies/strategies? Who's who in Ambazonia in 25 tweets:
1.Republic of Ambazonia (RoA): Pioneer "restorationist" group led by Fon Gorgi Dinka who coined the term Ambazonia in 1984, its main advocacy tools are litigation (ex: Ambazonia Vs Cameroun, Bamenda 1992) & memoranda (Ex: New Social Order)
2.Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC): Created in 1995 from the embers of federalist All Anglophone Conference (AAC). Was main advocate of SC independence until 2016 when new Anglophone groups emerged. Its motto is “The force of argument, not the argument of force."
3.The “Ambazonian” flag that became popular among pro-independence groups after events of 8 December 2016 in Bamenda is an adaptation of the original 13-stripe flag adopted by an SCNC-sponsored Constituent Assembly in 2000.
4.Southern Cameroons People's Organization (SCAPO): Created in 2001 to pursue legal case for indep of S. Cameroons. Filed suit vs. Nigeria in Abuja in 2002 & vs. Cameroon in 2003 at African Com on Human & Peoples Rights which recognized Southern Cameroonians as a "people" in 2009
5.SCAPO adopted the motto “Live Free or Die Once” to distinguish it from SCNC & referred to an independent Southern Cameroons as “AmbazAnia” to distinguish it from Fon Gorgi Dinka’s “AmbazOnia.”
6.Southern Cameroons Youth League (SCYL): Founded in 1995 by Anglophone youths—led by Ebenezer Akwanga & Cho Ayaba both of whom had been expelled from @UBuea for political activism—fed up with the SCNC’s reluctance to implement the road map to Southern Cameroons independence.
7.SCYL accused of being behind attacks on govt & military installations in NW in 1997. Akwanga sentenced 20 yrs by military tribunal but escaped from Kondengui 7 yrs later. SCYL has an armed wing, SOCADEF, which has claimed responsibility for recent attacks in Manyu division.
8.Consortium: An umbrella organization created in 2016 grouping 4 lawyers' associations & several teachers' unions advocating an end to Anglophone marginalization in Cameroon & a return to federal system. Led by Barrister Felix Nkongho & Neba Fontem arrested in January 2017
9.Consortium abandoned its federalist stance when a more radical leadership emerged following arrest & exile of founding leaders. New leadership subsequently expelled the federalist Felix Nkongho for opposing the "Restoration agenda" of the people of Southern Cameroons.
10.Ambazonia Governing Council (AGC). Created around 2011 by ex members of SCNC & SCYL. Led by Cho Ayaba, its armed wing is the ADF (Ambazonia Defense Force), aka Nchang Shoe Boys, who've claimed responsibility for recent attacks on Cameroun forces, ex, Jakiri in 11/2017
11. It was the ADF which established a foothold in the village of Dadi in Manyu division which was later overrun by Cameroun forces in December 2017, & which the former tried to recapture on 1/18. The AGC leader Ayaba has promised “difficult times ahead” for “occupation forces”.
12.Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (Morisc): Created in the USA in 2016 to “Enthrone a Govt in Southern Cameroons that is based on popular consent, deriving authority and legitimacy from the people.” Led by Boh Herbert.
13.MORISC drafted “Roadmap to the Restoration of Independence” adopted by major Ambazonian groups which culminated in symbolic declaration of independence on Oct 1, 2017. Roadmap centered on civil disobedience & establishment of structures & election of officials of SC state.
14.Southern Cameroons Ambazonia United Front (SCACUF): Launched in Feb 2017 in Nigeria during a conclave of major Southern Cameroons groups. Key members included:
Republic of Ambazonia (RoA)
15.SCACUF is not « la branche armée du Scnc »! Was created to obtain interl recognition for S. Cameroons thru diplomatic/legal means. It retained US law firm, Foley Hoag LLP, to lead legal campaign & used civil disobedience (school boycott & Ghost Towns) to pressure Cameroon govt
16.SCACUF spearheaded the worldwide “Takumbeng” demonstrations of Sept. 22, 2017 and the Oct 1, 2017 independence marches in Cameroon which were brutally quelled by Cameroun forces and marked the beginning of the radicalization of the hitherto generally nonviolent campaign.
17.SCACUF set up a Governing Council led by Sisiku Ayuk Tabe & Tassang Wilfred that included reps from all major pro-indep. grps. However, ideological, strategic, operational & personal differences soon led to a collapse of the United Front with groups such as MORISC withdrawing.
18.Interim Government, Federal Republic of Ambazonia: On Oct 31, 2017, what was left of SCACUF was dissolved & transformed into an Interim Govt with Sisiku Ayuk Tabe as President. He unveiled his cabinet 1 month later after failing to revive United Front & create coalition govt.
20. In a Nov. 9, 2017 tweet, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe “condem[s] the killings of Soldiers & Civilians in Jakiri & Bamenda in the past days. Our revolution has been non-violent.” While some praise him for his insistence on nonviolence others angrily accuse him of "betrayal".
21.The IG's position on (non)violence stays the same until leadership arrest in Abuya in Jan 9, 2018 even though Sisiku Ayuk cautioned in a Dec 4 interview that while it was premature to turn to violence, “all options are now available for us to use in our restoration quest”.
22.Will arrest of Ambazonia Interim Govt leadership end insurgency? Unlikely because armed groups on ground—apart from ADF & SOCADEF—are autonomous local cells reacting to local events with little or no connection or coordination among them, & operating on a quasi-franchise model
23.Some local grps taking on Cameroun forces include Ambazonia Restoration Army (Kupe Muanenguba/Boyo), Banso Liberation Army (Bui), The Tigers of Ambazonia (Manyu). These are mostly “ghost armies” with no known command structure & no known links to IG or other Ambazonian grps
24.The arrest of the IG leadership is a largely symbolic & even Pyrrhic victory for Cameroun govt because IG did not initiate armed insurrection but was simply put before a fait accompli by autonomous "Restoration Forces" not beholden to any movement or national “leader”.
25.The military solution that Cameroon govt now prefers—with its collective punishment & stream of bitter refugees with nothing to lose—will only lead to the emergence of more radical groups that would be difficult to rein in even when/if govt finally decides to dialogue. END
19.After attacks against Cameroun forces in Jakiri & Bamenda in Nov 2017, “Interim Government” issues statement on Nov 9 reaffirming its “commitment to the principle of nonviolence and to continue its diplomatic and legal effort" to achieve independence.
ADDENDUM: In 1st speech as newly elected Acting @GovAmba President (Feb 9), Dr. Ikome Sako announces "era of self defense" & "Legitimate Ambazonia Community Protection Programs" under new "rules of engagement". Rules of engagement will clarify if IG is now for armed resistance.
Has @GovAmba adopted the military option in struggle for Southern Cameroons independence? Acting President Sako clarifies reference to "Legitimate Ambazonia Community Protection Programs" and new "rules of engagement" #Cameroon #AnglophoneCrisis
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