(Business in Cameroon) - A new threat of shutdown is looming over Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) after 5 workers of the company were killed in an attack claimed by separatists on February 10, while 44 others were injured and rushed to a hospital in Tiko, a town in the southwest region where the tragedy occurred. According to a statement by MD Franklin Ngoni Njié, the tragedy happened when gunmen attacked a truck transporting the company’s staff.
In a video shared on social media on February 11, 2023, the separatist group Ambazonia Governing Council claimed responsibility for the attack. "Our fighters attacked the CDC in Tiko, killing five civilians and injuring dozens of others. This is another message to the Republic of Cameroon, which likes to bribe Chris Anu and Sako Ikome (other separatist leaders, ed) to allow the CDC to continue operating. This will serve as a lesson," said Capo Daniel, a lieutenant of separatist leader Ayaba Cho. Capo Daniel invites his supporters to launch new attacks against the CDC, the 2nd largest employer in Cameroon, and the main victim of the Anglophone crisis that has been tearing the country for almost 7 years. CDC facilities and employees have been targeted by separatist militants since early 2017. Company equipment was set on fire, while employees encountered in the plantations were mutilated or killed.
As of 2018, 12 out of 29 CDC sites were shut down, the national employers’ association Gicam reported. According to CDC itself, some of these sites had become base camps for armed militias. This difficult situation officially caused the loss of 6,124 jobs out of the more than 22,000 the company had. CDC was also off the banana exporter roster between September 2018 and May 2020 (18 months), due to the cessation of production activities.
Just when they thought things were a bit quiet lately, especially after the CDC was able to resume operations, the new attack has struck fear into workers again.
Brice R. Mbodiam