(Cameroon) Government is giving a boost to the activities of vigilante groups in Anglophone Regions, through the provision of equipment to facilitate the work of the groups and enable them stand against Separatist fighters in communities.
The government-backed move has seen vigilante groups, especially in Cameroon’s Northwest Region, receiving equipment, among which are bikes, megaphones, helmets, metal detectors, torches, boots and other materials to facilitate their campaigns against Amba fighters.
The equipped vigilante groups are expected to work in collaboration with military and police units in the various crisis-ridden hotspots in the troubled Anglophone Regions of Cameroon. The Government-backed vigilante groups are also expected to liaise with the military to share information and coordinate other activities that will lead to the curbing of activities of Separatist fighters who have crippled Government authority and institutions in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon.
The creation of vigilante groups allegedly made up of some ex-fighters and other youths from concerned communities have also raised worries, with critics saying that equipping young people to stand against Amba fighters will again create another ugly scene in the already bloodied villages.
Some critics have also expressed worries that the armed vigilantes too will be difficult to disarm after they most have become very familiar with the use of guns and wielding of authority in communities. Other worries have been raised on the possibility that the armed vigilante groups might be targeted and crushed by fighters who, in turn, might equip themselves with the Government provided equipment to the vigilante groups.
Some people have, however, saluted the move, with hopes that the vigilante groups might crush armed bandits and others passing for Amba fighters and harassing the communities.
In an audio message circulating on social media, one of the Separatist fighters’ leaders, Self-styled Commander Fire, of Bamendakwe, who took responsibility for killing a leader (Scorpy) of a vigilante group, said the vigilante group leader had targeted locals, and killed others suspected to be Amba fighters or sympathisers, thus, he deemed it necessary to ‘stop’