Soldiers have dismantled several separatist camps in Bafut, North West Region of Cameroon as well as seized several weapons in a one-week operation aimed at weeding off armed groups in the locality.
The operation led by Colonel Alain Charles Matiang cleared through all the neighbourhoods in Bafut, neutralizing 15 armed separatist fighters including ‘Generals Peace Plant and Alhaji’, seizing at least six motorbikes, a vehicle, two horses, locally fabricated guns and other weapons and ammunition.
The items were presented on Friday, May 1 to the Head of the fifth Military Region General Nka Valère and General Ekongwese Divine, commander of the 5th Gendarmerie Region who congratulated the soldiers for a job well done and extended the appreciations of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in Charge of Defence Joseph Beti Assomo.
He expressed the army’s resolve to free the population of constant fear and atrocities committed by armed groups in the area.
The operation carried out by a contingent of over three hundred soldiers equally enabled them to take over the Saddle Ranch hotel, a once tourist site and pride of the Region , where the armed separatist fighters had set up camp.
General Nka Valère said he would not admit see the hotel fall into ruins in the hands of the armed separatist fighters and said troops will hence be stationed to secure the Saddle Hill Ranch and the surrounding property.
While the operation was going on last week, several social media reports falsely accused soldiers of committing atrocities against the population and destroying the Bafut Fon’s Palace.
Other reports even went as far as claiming some soldiers had been arrested in Bafut for terrorizing the population, allegations that were immediately dismissed by the Head of Communication at the Ministry of Defence, Navy Commander Cyrille Serge Atongfack who described thelm as worthless and childish.
Assessing last week’s mission, the Head of the fifth Military Region General Nka Valère said the soldiers carried out their mission professionally and frown at all those who want to use the unfortunate incidents in Ngarbuh to tarnish the image of the army.
Generals Nka Valère and Ekongwesse Divine then led a team to the Bafut palace to ensure it remained intact as troops continue to guide the palace from any attacks from armed groups.
They used the opportunity to reassure the local population of their constant protection and security and called on them to continue collaborating with the army so as to keep the locality free from armed groups.