Army Shuts Down Local Arms Factory In Restive Cameroon Region

A factory making weapons has been shut down by the Cameroonian military. They believe the locally-made weapons were for anglophone separatists. 20 people were arrested.

Soldiers shut down a weapons factory in Cameroon’s restive Southwest region, seizing a haul of locally made firearms and arresting 20 people.

The factory was discovered in Buea, the administrative centre of the anglophone region on Oct 17, the military said.

Anglophone separatists have been involved in violent clashes with the military for the past six years.   

Local people in the neighbourhood of Mokunda informed the military that there were suspicious activities going on, a military spokesman said.

According to Colonel Louis Onambele, Commander of the 21st motorised infantry brigade of the Cameroon army, the army sealed the factory, seizing six hunting guns, three artisanal pistols,  40 cannons, pistol ammunition, a bag of tramadol and a packet of Indian hemp. 

“We got the break-through, the intelligence we received, with the collaboration of the population”, Colonel Onambele declared to journalists on October 18 in Buea.

Security officials in Buea who opted for anonymity said they were very sure the arms that were being produced in the said factory were supplied to Anglophone separatist fighters.

The twenty persons who were arrested have been handed over to the Southwest regional gendarmerie legion as further investigations continue.

Clashes between anglophone separatists and the Cameroonian government have caused over six thousand deaths on both sides and the displacement of about one million civilians. Most of the displaced have moved to French-speaking regions while over 70,000 have taken refuge in neighbouring Nigeria.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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