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Top Anglophone Army General Dies 

Major General Martin Chomu Tumenta

Major General Martin Tumenta

One of the few Anglophone Cameroonians to have attained the top echelons of the country’s military, Major General Martin Chomu Tumenta, has died.

Maj. Gen. Tumenta, 61, who was serving as Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), died on November 30 in the United States.

UN officials have confirmed the death of the major general, who was on a one-month medical vacation in the U.S., but are yet to disclose the exact cause of his death. A diplomatic source told us the general died of a medical condition, but refused to expatiate.

Born in 1954 and married, Maj. Gen. Tumenta started his distinguished military career after graduating from the elite military academy EMIA in Yaounde in 1977 as an air force officer.

He subsequently served in several positions including, amongst others, Chief Operations Officer at the Army Headquarters in Yaounde, Commander of Operation DELTA in the Bakassi Peninsula and Commander of the Third Military Region, which covers Cameroon’s northern-most regions and has its headquarters in Garoua.

The major general’s career went international in December 2013 when he was appointed Commander of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). This force was eventually transformed to the broader MINUSCA mission and in July 2014, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Maj. Gen. Tumenta as Force Commander of MINUSCA.

Although Maj. Gen. Tumenta, said to have been very modest, was seldom in the public eye, he became well known in 2010 after being chosen to lead the entire military during celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Cameroon’s Defence Forces.

Sources said the fallen general will be buried in his native Babungo, in Ngoketungia Division, Northwest Region. The date of the burial has not yet been announced.