The top brass of the Ambazonia Governing Council (AGovC), one of the main liberation movements of the former UN Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons have blamed what they call “blacklegs” for helping the military free Senator Regina Mundi from the hiding place of the Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF).
The Senator was freed following a military operation that started Sunday, May 29. According to a release signed by the spokesman for the Cameroon Ministry of Defense, Lt Col. Cyrille Atongfack, the military raided the locality of Ashong in Batibo subdivision in the troubled North West region and secured freedom for the 80-year-old senator as well as other hostages.
At least a dozen pro-independence fighters were killed, as they engaged the military in a gun battle, Atongfack said, although no corpses of the fallen freedom fighters were displayed in typical Cameroon military style. Several weapons and ammunition were also said to have been recovered (pictures and videos not also released as has become the tradition) as well as the vehicle of the senator as the operation wrapped up late on Monday night.
Dr. Cho Ayaba, President of the Ambazonia Governing Council has blamed the release of the senator on the actions of conspirators. Dr. Ayaba also told supporters that he was taking responsibility for mistakes that led to the release of the Senator by Cameroon forces.
But the Defense Ministry says the population has been increasingly collaborating with security forces in the fight against the pro-independence militia, and they point to the freeing of Senator Regina Mundi as just one more example of how such collaboration has been paying off.
Senator Regina Mundi was taken along with her driver on April 30 in Bamenda by armed men.
Footage of the Senator in captivity emerged days later with her keepers requesting the release of pro-independence leaders in detention at the Kondengui maximum security prison in Yaounde before May 20 or she would be killed.
Calls for her release wrung loud across the country, with notable figures like the Archbishop of Bamenda, Andrew Nkea penning emotional appeals to demand her release.
In her first public declarations following her release, Senator Mundi told the press that “This country, this region is at war, real war, it is not easy, it is really difficult for the military…it is not easy”.
Observers have captured this statement as an indictment of state officials who continually seek to downplay the armed conflict to give the impression that the situation is generally under control.
Pundits have called on the government forces to, in the same fashion, ensure the release of the President of the North West House of Chiefs, Fon Shomitang of Bambalang who has not been seen anywhere about six months after pro-independence fighters under the command of ‘General’ No Pity picked him up in Ngoketunjia division of the North West region. Ever since his removal the government has not issued any official statement.