Death and abduction as Cameroon marks fete
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Death and abduction as Cameroon marks fete

Posted NDI EUGENE NDI in Yaoundé

on  Monday, February 12   2018 at  16:51

At least three security officers were killed and a local administrator kidnapped by unidentified assailants in the restive English speaking regions of Cameroon on Sunday, sources confirmed on Monday.

Army spokesman Didier Badjeck confirmed that three officers were killed in a gun battle with suspected separatists in Kembong town in the Southwest as Cameroon celebrated the National Youth Day.

The Batibo Divisional Officer, Mr Marcel Namata Diteng, who was kidnaped by unidentified assailants on Sunday morning, was “still missing” on Monday according to the local MP, Mr Joseph Mbah Ndam.

The administrative officer was on his way to the Youth Day ceremonial ground before his abduction.

Burnt to ashes

The leader of the Ambazonia Governing Council (AGC), Mr Lucas Cho Ayaba, said forces loyal to the separatist movement; the Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF), abducted the divisional officer whose car was also burnt to ashes.

The separatists had called on the English speakers to boycott the National Youth Day celebrations.

The anglophone Cameroonians are agitating for secession after the predominantly francophone Yaoundé government reneged on a pre-unification deal.

On February 11, 1961 a plebiscite was held on whether Southern Cameroons (today's English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions) which had already obtained independence from Britain would join Nigeria or the Republic of Cameroon, which had obtained independence from France.

Voters elected to become part of French speaking Cameroon under a federal system. The plebiscite day was henceforth celebrated in Southern Cameroons as “Empire Day” until five years later when the government turned it into a National Youth Day in what historians say was a distortion of facts.

Important date

“I will want to state very clearly that history is a very stubborn subject which cannot be hidden. February 11 is Plebiscite Day. I think that is how it should be called because the Cameroonian youth did not do anything on February 11 to get that day to be reserved for them,” said Prof Willibroad Dze-Ngwa, one of Cameroon’s celebrated historians.

“We are not saying that the youth should not be given a day to celebrate. I think to take a very important date like February 11 and give it to the youth is distorting history, especially as nothing is told to the youth on the historical origin of the date,” the senior lecturer of history at the University of Yaoundé One added.

On the day which is a public holiday, learners from primary to tertiary levels, youth groups and youth wings of legalised political parties take part in marches, parades and sporting activities.