PM mourns soldiers killed in Mamfe.

At least five officers of the Eyumojock Gendarmerie Brigade, in Manyu Division, Southwest, were ambushed and killed by separatist militants along the Mamfe—Ekok road on Friday, May 10.

Among those killed was the Brigade Commander, and at least four officers who were on a security patrol in an area inundated by separatist groups, which have been clamouring for independence in the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon since 2017.

In a tweet on Sunday, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute confirmed that five Gendarmes were killed. He offered condolences to their families. At press time, which was 48 hours since the attack, the government had not issued an official release.

The PM expressed “outrage” terming the attack an “unfortunate incident”.

“The incident occurred when the Commander of the Eyumojock Brigade and four of his men, who were out on patrol, were ambushed by about thirty armed men from the secessionist group,” he said.

Reports say the soldiers were killed with very little retaliation as they were tricked to their doom. According to reports, an anonymous informant hinted the Brigade Commander that morning that separatists were operating on the stretch of road, which is part of the trans-African road stretching from Bamenda, through Mamfe to Nigeria.

In response, the Commander mobilised a few elements to accompany him on a mission to stop the separatists. A video released on pro-separatist social media channels reveals the gendarmes were in a private Toyota vehicle when separatists ambushed and opened fire on them, killing five.

The separatists also confiscated their weapons, bullet proof vests, boots, helmets and other belongings before setting fire on their bodies and the vehicle.

“I extend my sincere condolences to our valiant soldiers and to the families of the victims who fell in the defence of Fatherland,” the PM wrote.

The PM’s tweet on the Mamfe incident came as a surprise to many, who have watched his silence on the conflict in in silence.

Several hundreds of Cameroonian officers, including police, gendarme and army officers, have met a similar fate in the course of the armed conflict in the English-speaking Regions.

Recent military operations have also killed and dislodged hideouts of dozens of separatist fighters in Ngoketunjia, Bui, Mezam, Meme and Manyu Divisions.

Amid government’s resolve to tackle the Anglophone Crisis through armed conflict, many believe that dialogue with the separatists would avert the bloodshed that continues to be recorded nearly seven years into the conflict.

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