Rebels Attack Cameroonian Town Close To Central African Republic

A yet to be identified armed group has attacked the Cameroonian town of Mandjou in the East Region, giving rise to speculation that the gunmen may be rebels from the Central African Republic.

An armed group believed to be from the Central African Republic attacked the Cameroonian border town of Mandjou in the East Region on the night of Monday, March 8 and 9.

The attackers were reportedly promptly routed by the Cameroon military which sent them fleeing into nearby bushes.

“Intensive exchanges of firearms took place in Mandjou on the night of March 8 to 9, 2021 between armed men who came in from the Central African Republic and the Cameroon army,” a resident of Manjou told HumAngle.

“The identity of the armed group is not yet known but it is suspected that they might be Central African Republic rebels in search of food.”

Ephraim Belekou, another resident also gave an account of the attack.

“My wife’s association was organising a reception on the occasion of the celebration of the International Women’s Day so we were at the reception and returned home late,” Belekou said.

“Just as we went to bed, we heard the first gunshots coming from around the toll gate.”

Another witness, Frederic Igor Zock, the gunbattle between the rebels and the security forces lasted till 4 a.m. Tuesday, March 9.

“In the beginning, I thought it was bandits attacking the Bocom petrol station but with the intensity of the shooting, I finally understood that it was a more serious incident,” Zock narrated.

“I immediately woke up my wife and she told me it was certainly our neighbours who were paying us an unwanted visit.”

Identities of the attackers were yet to be ascertained but some Cameroonians were of the opinion that they may be combatants of the Cameroon Liberation Movement (CLM), which in Dec. 2020 openly announced its existence, declaring its aim was to topple the government of President Paul Biya, who is 86 years old and has been in power since Nov.6, 1982.

The fighters of the CLM are known to be based on the border with the Central African Republic.

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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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