The Minister delegate at the Presidency in charge of defence has in a press release, accused Cameroonian-born American writer and activist, Patrice Nganang, of being the producer of the video that went viral on social media, showing soldiers executing women and children.
Minister Joseph Beti Assomo, in the statement denouncing “an ongoing disinformation campaign” through the social media networks, said the act was carried out for the purpose of discrediting the professionalism of Cameroonian defense forces. The video published on July 10, 2018, shows soldiers committing abuses, apparently on refugees and ends with the extrajudicial killing of women and children.
Going by Minister Beti Assomo’s accusations, activist, Patrice Nganang, who is commonly referred to as an “anglo-bami,” is the author of the video. The statement said Nganang who is the author, simply manipulated a series of videos taken out of Cameroon which he subsequently created a scenario to implicate the national defense forces. The Minister stated that Nganang and other activist have the habit of manipulating information.
It should be noted however that while Amnesty International and the US are accusing the government of Cameroon for these acts, government has on more than one occasion stated that the security forces are not involved in the acts caught on video.
Before Minister Beti Assomo’s outing, government spokesman had equally called it fake news. It should however be noted that Patrice Nganang is not the only “anglo-bami,” Cameroonian in the Diaspora who has been blacklisted by government for supporting separatists fighting for the independence of English-speaking Cameroons. Several videos and photos have been circulated online depicting citizens of Bamileke origin (a majority of whom were born and bred in the North West and South West regions), involved in advocacy campaigns for the so-called Republic of Ambazonia.
Such is the case with activists in Belgium such as 25-year-old Tazanfor Alex, born and bred in Bamenda, who has been conspicuously present in public protests against the perceived marginalisation of Anglophones in Cameroon.
Just like many others, it is reported that he takes part in funding of activists back home as well as in contributions for humanitarian support for Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria. Reliable sources say the recently published list of 13 Anglophone activists in the Diaspora declared “wanted” by government is only a tip of a long list of people abroad marked for arrest and subsequent trial at the Yaounde military tribunal.
Patrice Nganang, however is holder of a US citizenship. He was simple forcible deported upon pressure from the American government when he last visited Cameroon and was detained for speaking in favour of separatists.
*First published in The Guardian Post