Leader of ‘Cameroon Peoples’ Liberation Army’ Freed

 

Martin Bertin Kisob

Authorities have freed the detained self-proclaimed leader of the Cameroon Peoples’ Liberation Army, a shadowy group that carried out some violent attacks ahead of the October 9, 2011 presidential election

Bertin Kisob, who in several statements released to the media at the time vowed to free Cameroon from the tyranny of the Yaounde regime and claimed responsibility for the attacks, was freed sometime last week.

His group carried out the hold up at the Wouri Bridge in Douala on September 18, 2011, which involved a gun battle with security forces, and the killing of two gendarmes in the Bakassi Peninsula on October 9, 2011. The Cameroon Peoples’ Liberation Army was equally linked to the planting of explosives at the ELECAM office in Limbe and the theft of weapons at the army armoury in the same city.

The circumstances that led to his release by the authorities remain unclear. He was arrested in November 2011. In his preliminary declarations, Mr. Kisob accuses unnamed senior government and army officials of being responsible for the acts of violence for which he had claimed responsibility.

“I want to say one thing I discovered during that period (of his involvement in politics) is that there are people who go around saying Mr. Biya is a demi-god on TV on radio, meanwhile they are the masters behind this organization. Big Ministers, Generals… For the sake of investigations I cannot give you their names,” Bertin Kisob told a press conference in Bamenda on Friday, February 3.

Curiously the 2nd Assistant Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam, Awung Jacques Alain, sat next to Mr. Kisob during the press conference. It is believed the administration organised the press conference on behalf of Mr. Kisob.

Mr. Kisob said the hidden forces behind the liberation army were self-seeking individuals who were intent on grabbing power in order to fill their private pockets. “In the course of our interaction they [the masterminds of the Cameroon Peoples’ Liberation Army] wanted me to sign an agreement that when I will be in power they will be in possession of 40 to 60 per cent of our natural resources. I said all what you heard through the media.

If those people came and they were just there to help us make a revolution for our democracy without asking us to give them 40 to 60 percent of our natural resources… And I’m saying this in front of a government administrator [the Assistant SDO], I would not have left them,” he said.

He added: “The truth is that I found myself in a game I did not intend to organise. You have some fellows who came and told me they were experts in political communication. And so I expected them to give me their expertise so that I would enhance my portfolio in politics.

My candidacy for the last elections was rejected and so I needed some people who could canalise me in another manner, not knowing that they had their own agenda. They wanted a revolution not for the interest of Cameroon but just for them to seize our petrol. When I discovered that this was a fake revolution, I removed myself from the action and I contacted the government for their protection. That protection was granted,” he explained.

Asked whether he is not afraid of being killed for betraying his former allies, he retorted that he had the protection of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Paul Biya. “I know they are looking for ways to kill me. But the Head of State personally granted me his protection. I was not arrested. I was under house arrest and the only thing I could not do was to leave the gate. I had all what I wanted,” he said.

Bertin Kisob’s outing is being given several interpretations, with speculations rife that those he might have indicted would be questioned or arrested.

“The government knows why they have released him. They are monitoring his moves to be sure that he respects the pact he signed with the government to guarantee his freedom. His declarations are being analysed and the government will know what next to do in case they find lapses,” a military source told CameroonPostline.com.

Bertin Kisob is the son of a retired Bamenda-based colonel.

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