A video (click here to watch video) that has gone viral on the internet has exposed the location of 12 Anglophones who disappeared six months ago from Anglophone Cameroon. The detainees being held inside a smelly, dark, cold windowless bunker are believed to be held at the dreaded SED Gendarmerie headquarters in Yaoundé.
They made the video stating that they were spirited away six months ago. But thevoice weekly newspaper Monday August 7, confirmed the identities several of the detainees who include Asaah Patrick Ndangoh alias Manasata, popular businessman in Bamenda who returned long time ago from the diaspora and set up in Cameroon.
He was lastly seen one month ago at the Bamenda Judicial police where he was detained for about two weeks after being arrested in Nkambe in the North West region.
Another popular face in the black and white video is that of Rev. Kisob Bertin who has for long been carrying out solo-activism against the Biya regime. He went missing in Bamenda. Another detainee, Fabiona Deco who owned a Paris Foot kiosk in Small Mankon Quarter Bamenda was arrested because of his comments on social media.
The video is likely to embarrass the government and thoroughly too. It is the first time the public is seeing what the well talked about underground prison since the Amadou Ahijo and Forchive era look like. It is going to be embarrassing for a government that has repeatedly denied reports of torture of detainees and the squalid, inhumane and hidden detention cells in the country. Imagine 12 men defecating in a tight windowless toilet that has not been cleaned for years. That is what the dozen are experiencing. In the video, the detainees show their faces, one after the other. Some of them have grown beards. One of them, Kwalla Marvin is actually crying tearfully.
Here is the full audio transcribed from the video which has two voices. The first speaker: “My name is Asaah Patrick Ndangoh. I am speaking on the behalf of twelve of us who were kidnapped by armed gangs and thugs of the Paul Biya regime and the government of La Republique du Cameroon six months. Since our adoption, some six months ago, we have been held hostage at various hidden cells in conditions only comparable to deaths camps with the singular purpose to kill us. At the moment, we are held in a bunker at the SED Gendarmerie headquarters in Yaoundé.
Audacity of hope
“If dying is the price that we must pay, to guarantee our freedom and to re-establish the independence of our country, then it is a price worth paying.
Whatever you do, whatever you think, please do not be afraid. Fear will kill you faster than any bullet. Think and act according to the righteousness of your motives.
The decay, the corruption, the uselessness of the Paul Biya regime and what has become of La Republique du Cameroun must never become us. We are a million times better than those.
It is our individual and our collective responsibility to forge this new nation that we all dream of. Southern Cameroons is my country…
“As from Monday the 7th (August 2017) to safeguard what we have been fighting for, we are beginning an indefinite strike that we shall not stop even if it means it has to claim us. We are prepared for the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you”.
Asaah Patrick Ndango then introduces the rest of the 11 detainees as they take turns to appear in front of the camera as follows:
- Joe Tamo Tang
- Ayuk Oteh Ayuk
- Fonyuh Terrence Banyeh
- Tangem Thomas
- Fabiano Deco Vishiwgho
- Angwang Benson
- Tabe Edward
- Kisob Bertin
- Kechawah Silver
- Kwala Malvin
Apparently, the 11th person did not appear in the video perhaps because he was holding the camera.
Meanwhile, a second voice on the video apparently filmed in the dark and which we have not independently verified then runs a descriptive commentary as the camera sweeps through the dirty walls, grubby floor and filthy toilet.
“Just look at our conditions of detention. This is the worst bunker you can imagine; with an asbestos paint (on the walls) that will surely give us cancer in less than six months”, he says.
“There’s no window. Just look at the terrible condition. No light, no water. In fact, if you look at our toilet you’ll pity us. Just imagine the condition La Republique government is putting us Southern Cameroonians. It’s terrible. Really look at that, and where we have to ease ourselves. Even animals are better in life”.