Cameroonian minister vows to respond to killing of security forces


By Arison

YAOUNDE, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Cameroon's Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji said on Tuesday the government will take tough measures against separatist rebels who killed security forces in the country's volatile English-speaking region of Northwest.

"These people who killed security forces and innocent civilians will be tracked down in their latest hideouts. In their own interest, they should surrender to the police and gendarmerie before we come for them. There will be no escape," Nji told reporters while visiting a military checkpoint in Matazem that was attacked by armed separatists.

At least, 12 members of Cameroonian security guards have died in attacks by separatists since the start of January, according to security reports. The number of civilian casualties is not known.

"The good news is that some of the assailants and accomplices of the attacks have been arrested. What is going on now is the last of the resistance because the terrorists have lost strength and speed," Nji added who regularly refers to separatists as "terrorists."

Armed separatists have freshly intensified attacks in the region that was relatively calm in December, according to security sources.

Armed separatists and government forces have been embroiled in an over three-year-old bloody conflict in Cameroon's two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest where separatists want to establish an independent nation they call "Ambazonia."

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