Crowdfunding A Government Uprising In Africa- The Cameroonian ‘Kickstarter’ Adoption
Cameroon's separatist movement is using a crowdfunding platform to fund their fighters, provide them with weapons, and pay for food.
One of the projects on Cameroon’s Ambazonia Defense Forces website is called ‘Project Never Again’, and seeks to raise money to buy rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles.
This crowdsourcing platform is a trend in global conflicts, as we have seen jihadists carry out the same method of digital fundraising.
In this case, it allows separatist Cameroonian fighters to raise money using foreign funds derived through either Bitcoin donations or PayPal transfers.
Many of the funds go toward arms and weapon systems to be used by Ambazonian ‘freedom fighters’. For instance, the project below is aimed at arming Ambazonia fighters with anti-vehicle weapons.
An explainer video shows that these RPG’s are to be used against Cameroon military convoys, Cameroon state-sponsored television towers, and military helicopters.
Other projects include ADF ‘special projects’ designed to deliver food to fighters, and a project titled ‘Fund Self Defense Home Front’.
Recruiting freedom fighters online
When it comes to jihadist sites, the recruitment of anti-government fighters is much more subtle, and often done in back-channels away from public view.
Ambazonia Defense Force is quite public about their recruitment to the ADF. They include a section on the crowdfunding site to allow specific details to be filled out.
Of course, the recruitment can be in any voluntary capacity, and not just combat.
A traffic analysis of the site shows that it receives the majority of its traffic through ambaland.com, an associated movement fighting for independence in Southern Cameroon.
You can see their avid support for the crowdfunding of weapon provisions from the banner at the top of ambaland.com, pointing to the ‘Project Never Again’ (below).
The group is very active in their social presence, with a presence on Twitter, and YouTube, and formerly Facebook prior to their account being flagged and deleted.
Their fundraising attempts are also visible through YouTube, as you can see below.
How successful have they been?
So far, the cryptocurrency adoption for the ADF has been unsuccessful.
A look at their Bitcoin account on the blockchain shows that they have not received any funds as of yet.
However, as the group also accept both PayPal and bank transfer, they claim they have raised more through those mediums.
A fight for independence
This digitally crowdsourced approach to separatist fighting and independence is a trend for groups around the world, as volunteers take up arms against dictatorship-style governments.
For Cameroon, the country has seen clear evidence of genocide, extrajudicial killings, and torture. There has been evidence to show that the Cameroonian Government and its military have committed many of these acts, of which the government has denied any involvement.
In situations such as this, separatist groups turn to digital financing to assist them in their retaliation.
You can see more evidence of Cameroonian government atrocities in this thread below.