Cameroon Journal, East Region, Nov. 22 - Residents of Gbitti, communities located
at the Cameroon-Central African Republic frontier are blaming the governor of the
East Region – Samuel Ivaha Diboua for a recent attack that left several people dead,
and some wounded after rebels invaded the area.
They have accused the governor of
giving a whole different version of what transpired prior to the incident in an interview
he granted state radio.
The governor had said on CRTV 8pm news, Sunday November 17,
after the attack, that he had taken several measures to prevent any possible invasion,
following information he gathered from the residents of the village. “We had been
receiving information that a group of rebels was preparing to attack our military
bases here. The reports became persistent until the rebels finally attacked on Sunday
the 17th, at about 6pm” he said.
However, the villagers told the media that they had sent several alerts to the governor,
indicating that even customs officers in the area had abandoned their posts after
threats of invasion became very eminent. They argued that had the governor followed-up
with the alerts sent to him and secured the border as custom officers had vamoosed
the borders, the incident could have been prevented.
A release from the Defence Minister, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o stated that 5 rebels
were killed in the attack and several others wounded. The Cameroon army suffered
a soldier casualty and a civilian. Another soldier and a civilian were wounded in
The villagers believe had the governor visited to evaluate the situation
- what they were informing him about, the incident could not have happened. The Governor
is talking about security in the area but he forgets that only three police officers
and seven soldiers of the Rapid Intervention Unit of the armed forces, BIR, were
working in shifts in the area.
Customs officers, who abandoned their posts they said,
did so after they were tipped that a great number of heavily armed soldiers were
preparing to invade the area from a base in Banga, the first Central African Republic
village across the Bombe River which separates the two countries. “These rebels had
molested us and seized our properties for so long before the intervention of the
Cameroon armed forces.” One of the Gbitti residents said.
The village was attacked
by rebels of the Central African Republic's FDPC who want the release of their leader,
Abdoulaye Miskine, currently imprisoned in Yaounde. He was arrested September this
year in Bertoua where he had come seeking medical treatment after being shot in
a shootout with the Seleka soldiers of Michel Djotodia, current strongman of the
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