A heavily armed militant separatist group has killed fifteen soldiers and several civilians in their double ambush in the English-speaking western area of Cameroon in the grip of a breakaway campaign on Monday.
In a statement, Cameroon’s Defence Ministry said that the “terrorist” group attacked a convoy of Elite Rapid Intervention Forces at Bamessing a village in the Northwest Region.
The statement added that the insurgents immobilized the vehicles in the convoy by using improvised explosive devices (IED) and then opened heavy fire on the convoy.
Earlier an IED had hit a military convoy at Kumbo, in the same region on September 12.
The defense ministry said, “the existence of links and exchanges of sophisticated weaponry between secessionist terrorists and other terrorist entities operating beyond the borders including hardline groups.”
Cameroon’s Separatist Movement
The conflict which is more than four years old began when the government forces used lethal coercion against peaceful rallies organized by lawyers and teachers protesting against their marginalization by the country’s majority French-speaking government.
In the response, various separatist groups emerged to fight for an independent state of Ambazonia.
According to UN statistics, more than 700,000 people have fled their homes and about 4,000 have been killed in the conflict.
In addition to separatists, the rights activists have said that abuses have been committed by the security forces.
Government forces have raided villages, burned homes, arbitrarily arrested and killed dozens of civilians, according to local and international NGOs.
In Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest region, the separatist forces have controlled the city by taking control of the territory’s main accesses and roads, according to a recent UN report.