Cameroun Security Forces Accused in Multiple Robbery Operations in Southern Cameroons
Footage of a video recording of an armed robbery, from a surveillance camera mounted at Mitanyen Cooperative Credit Union, MITACCUL, head office on SONAC street in Bamenda, one of the main cities of the Once Independent State of Southern Cameroons is making rounds on social Media. The video footage shows armed bandits speaking in French and broken (pidgin) English with a Francophone accent. The incident took place Friday August 21 about 10am with business going outside as if nothing was happening.
One of the junior workers who elected anonymity confided to Timescape Magazine that the armed robbers, four in number who were no doubt identified as soldiers and were taken for carrying out routine security control rather stormed the microfinance and ordered both customers and personnel to move away and stay put on one side at gun point.
"When our private security guard was brutally pushed into the office with other customers who were using the ATM services mounted outside, I sensed something very wrong had happened ....these soldiers who were disguised in civilian wear, to probably give the impression that they were Amba fighters, after ordering us to one side at gunpoint, ordered the cashiers to empty their cash boxes of every francs..." she said.
Another source at MITACCUL said, when he was certain these men were in the middle of robbing the credit union, he was overwhelmed with fright and traumatized having been tortured and robbed at his home recently.
".... Thanks to the CCTV camera footage that has enabled me to actually have a clear picture of who were behind the robbery," he said.
The management of MITACCUL after watching the CCTV camera footage held strongly that the act was carried out by members of the Cameroon military. The bandits are heard in the video speaking French and ‘broken’ (Pidgin) English with Francophone accent. The CCTV footage captured reveals one of the robbers saying “Ouvre la Porte, ouvre ça” translated in English as “Open the door, open it”.
“Movam all money, all, I say all, no keep some one…move the other one…all…bringam here,” they shouted. “Ou est le Directeur”? Translation: “Where is the Director”? Another one asked.
Pundits said Friday’s incident was not the first of its kind given the rising rate of armed robberies, mysterious beheadings recorded on daily basis despite the presence of security operatives present every 10 meters in Bamenda.
Some months back a CCTV camera captured a break into an electronic shop at food market by soldiers in military attire. Cellphones and flat screen television sets were carted away. Brand new motorbikes are stolen from shops in Bamenda and transported to Francophone towns in military trucks on daily basis for sale to enrich private pockets in the chain of command.
Another scenario was recorded months back in Limbe, where some members of the Cameroon armed forces robbed customers of their money and gadgets in a drinking spot and were only identified later with the aid of CCTV camera footage. The management of Mitanyen credit union indicated it would draw the attention of the administration and the security chief in Bamenda.
Some quarters have blamed the acts of robbery carried out by soldiers on their bosses claiming that these bosses have made it a culture to deprive their subordinates of their monthly emoluments thereby pushing them into stealing to survive. Last year a contingent of soldiers sent out a video crying of abandonment and hunger while on mission in Jakiri. They could be heard saying they did not want to behave like some of their colleagues who would go about stealing from the population just to eat.