Two leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) arrested in Buea on Tuesday and brought to Yaounde are still in gendarmerie custody, contrary to information circulating on social media.
Military law enforcement services have detained Barrister Felix Nkongho and Dr Fontem Neba at the gendarmerie headquarters in Yaounde. They have been charged with rebellion and where due to appear before a military prosecutor today, according to a security source.
Both men, along with two others, were arrested shortly after the government outlawed the CACSC and began a crackdown on Anglophone activists clamoring for autonomy for the English-speaking territories of the country.
Other leaders of CACSC, a moderate pro-federalism group made up mainly of lawyers’ and teachers’ groupings have gone into hiding following the ban and arrests. Wilfred Tassang, the executive secretary of the Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union and CACSC board member has sought refuge at the US embassy in Yaounde, according to reports.
Security forces were said to be hunting down Anglophones suspected to be sympathetic with the strugle. Among those on the “watch list” are Jerome Obi, Sila Abong, Benson Nfon Tanjong and James Ngorang all of Kumbo, one of the strongholds of separatists, according to our correspondent there.
Three men came looking for Tanjong early Monday, said his wife Emma Kiven. Kiven said she was not sure what role her husband might have played in the recent uprising because he was away in the United States.
Many young people went into hiding following news of pending mass arrests in Anglophone regions.
Ben Muna’s law firm based in Yaounde is representing the arrested activists, according to a senior associate. The human rights commission of the Bar Council is also part of the defense team, we understand, but it is unclear what role it would play.
Pictures emerged last evening of a relaxed and smiling Nkongho in what looked like a tiny room used as an office. He wore blue jeans, a red t-shirt and his signature black solid-framed eyeglasses.
Following the ban, CACSC has moved the coordination of its activities abroad to sustain its cause. The group has declared a month-long of stay-in protests for three days every week from Monday.
Security has been increased across the North West and South West to preempt protests against the crackdown. Reports that dozens of civilians could have been arrested in the regions were hard to verify because of inexistent internet and sloppy telephone lines.