Cameroon: Death of Reputed Separatist Militia leader Field Marshall Questioned by Army

The army has not yet officially confirmed the organisation of a military operation conducted this week in the department of…

Field Marshall

The army has not yet officially confirmed the organisation of a military operation conducted this week in the department of Lebialem against Anglophone separatist fighters.

Several sources indicate that a campaign conducted by the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) between Monday and Wednesday resulted in the death of Field Marshall, the leader of the secessionist militia “Red Dragons“. Questioned on Tuesday by journalists on the death of Field Marshall, Cyrille Atonfack, the head of the communication division at the Ministry of Defence replied laconically: “Hasty assertion”.

On social networks, Internet users share photos showing the remains of a man presented as one of the very first leaders of a separatist militia. Around him, several BIR soldiers.

On the separatist side, no communication from the leaders confirms this death. Not even Chris Anu, Field Marshall’s brother and spokesman for the imprisoned leader Sissiku Ayuk Tabe, the self-proclaimed president of the imaginary separatist republic “Ambazonia”.

His real name is Oliver Lekeaka, and he is a former BIR soldier. After deserting this elite military unit, he joined the separatist camp in the early hours of the conflict in 2017 to form the ‘Red Dragons’ and lead the armed struggle in the Lebialem department. He was one of the first to attack soldiers in the South West and quickly became the army’s bête noire. In videos, he is shown in front of his men and the ‘Red Dragons’ are presented as the largest militia in this conflict.

It must be said that this is not the first time Field Marshall has been announced dead. In December 2018, soldiers deployed in the South West claimed to have killed him. This information was denied by his supporters. Since then, the man who was considered one of the most feared militiamen has been keeping a low profile.

While some reports have announced that he was wounded and on the run in neighbouring Nigeria, other sources indicate that Field Marshall, diminished and hunted, was holed up in Lebialem. His militia, which initially numbered hundreds of men, is said to have only a few supporters left.