Reactions have beeen pouring in since the Yaounde Military Tribunal early on Tuesday handed a life sentence to the ten detained leaders of the Ambazonia separatist movement.
The verdict has since left many bewildered on the swiftness of the court and how the decision could impact the process of dialogue which has been clamoured for by the local and international coummunity as well as campaigns for effective school resumption in September.
Former US Ambassador Herman J. Cohen was critical of the sentencing, urging the government to engage in dialogue rather than sentencing the separatist leaders.
“Instead of jailing secessionist leaders for life, the Cameroon government should be negotiating a peaceful solution with them, leading to self-determination for the English-speaking region within a greater democratic Cameroonian federation,” the US diplomat said.
In addition to the life sentence, the court ordered them to pay 1. 250 billion FCFA to the state Cameroon as damages and 2. 12.5 billion FCFA to the civil party.
They have ten days to appeal the verdict, the presiding magistrate Lt. Col. Misse Njone said while handing down the verdict.