Ghost town in Bamenda the 9 janvier 2017 .
English speaking journalists in Cameron are in a dilemma following a recent surge in the arrest of Anglophone news gatherers in the country.
Most media men and women in the country were Friday morning shocked when reports widely circulated that two of their colleagues were seized in the night of Thursday breaking Friday in Buea in the South West region.
The political desk editor of The Sun newspaper, Atia Tilarious Azohnwi and Buea bureau chief of The Guardian Post, Amos Fofung were whisked from the latter’s Molyko abode and ferried to the third police district of the South West regional capital where they were still in detention at the time of this report.
It should be noted that Atia is also the president of the Buea chapter of Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists (CAMASEJ), and Communication Secretary of Cameroon Journalists Trade Union (SNJC) for the South West.
None of the groups had commented at the time of this report.
Though the police was also still to officially comment on the arrest, Elah Geoffrey, Editor of The Sun who confirmed the apprehension said it is related to the ongoing crisis rocking the two English speaking regions of the country.
A Buea-based journalist told Fofung’s colleague at the head office of The Guardian Post in Yaounde that forces targeted a Bamenda journalist who cruised to Buea with ‘Anti National Youth Day’ tracks.
Going by the allegations, Mofor Ndong, publisher of Voice of The Voiceless who was the police target was sharing pleasantries with his Buea colleagues when uniform men stormed and bundled them all.
The trio are not the first journalists to have been arrested since the crisis erupted in the two Anglophone regions—reason for the atmosphere of fear animating Anglophone journalists in the country.
Known cases of journalists who have been arrested in relation to the protests include the publisher of Life Time newspaper, Tim Finnian and Jean Claude Agbortem of Camer-Veritas Magazine.
While Tim in an article published in the January 24 edition of his paper alleged that two of some young people security forces arrested in the wake of the protests in the opposition stronghold of Bamenda died on transit to Yaounde, Agbortem was allegedly priding himself as communicator of the banned consortium that has been leading the strike.
It is alleged that the government is monitoring dozens of Anglophone Journalists. Some like the critical publisher of The Times Journal have not been seen in public lately and the question, “are we safe”? has been on the lips of those who are ‘free for now’.
It is therefore time for press freedom advocates like Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) just to name these few to take their rightful positions before all Anglophone journalists in the country are arrested.