For their part, the secessionists calling for an independent state of Ambazonia have also been reconsidering their approach. In recent weeks, they have reportedly decided to focus less on international rallies and the lobbying of foreign governments, which have proven largely fruitless. Instead, they seem to be diverting resources to fighters on the ground.
This has already led to a recent uptick in attacks, including one on the convoy of the governor of Northwest region and various military outposts. Militants have reportedly killed a former combatant who laid down his arms as part of a government disarmament programme as well as some members of the new vigilante initiative in Bamenda.
There has also been an increase in unusually brutal violence, some of it targeting civilians. Most shockingly, a video has emerged appearing to show combatants mutilating and murdering a female prison guard. The secessionists claim the act was carried out by government-sponsored actors and that they have captured three individuals behind it, but have not released any further proof. Separatists also kidnapped and tortured a school teacher in the city of Kumba, only releasing her after a hefty ransom was paid. They allegedly maimed employees of the Cameroon Development Cooperation in Southwest Region.