AFCON 2021: Ambazonian Separatists Kill Cameroon Soldier in Buea

AFCON Ambazonian Seperatists Kill Cameroon Soldier in Buea (News Central TV)

Separatist rebels on Wednesday killed a soldier and a little girl during an attack on Cameroon’s western city of Buea, the base for four soccer teams competing in the Africa Cup of Nations.

This came after Henry Kemende, a prominent senator, was shot dead on Tuesday by unknown assailants in Bamenda, the capital of the neighbouring North West region, his party said.

Africa’s premier soccer tournament kicked off on Sunday amid security concerns, especially in western regions where insurgents seeking to establish a breakaway state called Ambazonia have carried out deadly attacks on civilians and the army since 2017.

Group F consisting of Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Tunisia are all based in Buea in the South West region, where many clashes between the army and the rebels have occurred.

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Cameroon President Paul Biya (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Cho Ayaba, the head of the rebel Ambazonia Defence Forces said the soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) during the attack in which rebels exchanged gunfire with the army.

“Our forces launched an IED attack that killed one soldier. A sister force known as the Mountain Lions also engaged the military in an hour-long combat,” Ayaba stated.

The aim, Ayaba said, was to disrupt preparations for two Group F games that are being played on Wednesday in Limbe, a coastal city about an hour’s drive south from Buea.

The first Group F game, between Mali and Tunisia, went ahead on Wednesday with Mali winning 1-0, and the match between Gambia and Mauritania got underway as planned.

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Militias from the minority English-speaking west have been fighting since 2017 in protest against what they say is their marginalisation by the French-speaking government.

The conflict has killed at least 3,000 people and forced nearly one million to flee. Separatist and government forces have both been accused of abuses against civilians.

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