Cameroon: Separatists’ Partners Convicted In US For Arms Trafficking

The verdict was handed down on 9 May by a court in Maryland, USA. It convicts Wilson Nuyila aged 45,…

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The verdict was handed down on 9 May by a court in Maryland, USA. It convicts Wilson Nuyila aged 45, Eric Fru Nji 40years old and Wilson Che Fonguh aged 39 for conspiracy, transporting weapons whose serial numbers were erased.

The Anglophone crisis is playing out in the United States. People from Cameroon were charged last August after investigations by the US Department of Homeland Security. According to our colleagues at Stopblablacam, the three men were suspected of attempting to export arms illegally to Nigeria and “at least one other location in Africa” from November 2017 to December 2019.

But for Emmanuel Nsahlai, the Cameroonian-born American lawyer behind the case, there is no doubt that these separatist activists were trying to get arms to secessionist militias in the North West and South West regions. “They will be sentenced to prison. The sentencing hearing can take weeks. In the American system, the sentencing hearing is not immediate after the conviction,” said lawyer Emmanuel Nsahlai, contacted by SBBC.

Wilson Nuyila, Eric Fru Nji and Wilson Che Fonguh are facing 5 to 20 years in prison. Three other Cameroonians accused of arms trafficking are also awaiting trial. They are Alambi Walters Muma, Edith Ngang, Tamufoh Nchumuluh St Michael.

Same scenario occured in 2021 as three US-based Anglophone Cameroonians have been charged with gun running and conspiracy following the seizure of a weapons cache by US authorities.
The suspects, some who appear to support the Anglophone separatist movement in their country of origin, could be implicated in an effort to supply high-grade weapons and ammunition to fighters battling Cameroonian government forces.

The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) seized military-grade weapons and military equipment from two shipping containers and two different homes between May and August 2019.

According to the affidavit from an ATF agent, 131 orders from two online gun retailers were shipped to a home in Rosedale, Maryland in the US between March 2018 and March 2019. The large number of items was flagged by ATF, along with other information, leading to a search of the premises.