Cameroon Is Recently Battling Insurgencies, Cracks Down On Weapons Illegally Brought Into The Country.
- Cameroon is cracking down on weapons proliferation as it battles two insurgencies and prepares to hold important nationwide elections this year. The military says it discovered a large cache of illegal weapons in a warehouse in Awae, near the capital. Cameroon’s military raided the warehouse April 30 after locals reported suspicious movements to and from it. Adjutant Chef Major Patrice Bella is a military official who led the operation.
- The Chef Major said five gunmen working with the arm dealers fought back but were overpowered by the military. He says they will be investigating to find out the true owners of the weapons cache and what the weapons were to be used for. Inside the warehouse, soldiers discovered 10,500 rounds of ammunition, as well as an undisclosed number of explosives, guns, cutlasses and knives. So far, all those arrested are Cameroonian nationals.
- The location of the warehouse has sparked concern. Awae is said to be 55 kilometers from the capital of Cameroon. The town hosts an international school for security forces called EIFORCES that trains African militaries on peacekeeping techniques. Officials suspect the weapons came overland from neighboring countries, in particular Nigeria. However local residents wonder how they got past police and gendarme posts around Awae. Maybe be they the security gaurds were bribed.
Ammunition transported by military truck out of Awae
- A 41-year-old road engineer Joseph Mbida says he is frightened because the discovery of ammunition and weapons amassed so close to Yaounde could mean people are planning to try to destabilize the country. He says he is counting on the military to track down those responsible.
- Cameroon presidential, parliamentary and local council elections will be kick starting in October and this seems to bring about panic. The country is also findiing not easy with instability in the Far North, where troops continue to battle Boko Haram, and in the two English-speaking regions, the northwest and the southwest, where separatist rebels are demanding independence.
- It was learnt that in April, the Government banned sale of weapons to civilians even when it is legal to stern the trend.
- According to Paul Atanga Nji, minister of territorial administration, and addressing a security meeting in Yaounde, said there are as many as 30,000 war weapons and small arms which are currently in circulation in Cameroon. This allays fear of possible war break out.