Human Interest

Minors Decry Military Harassment Over Non Availability of ID Cards

Young boys below the age of 18, have decried the brutality administered on them by Cameroon soldiers amidst the fact that they don’t have national Identity (ID) cards

In an exclusive interview granted this reporter, the minors say they undergo torture, and summary detention as the military insist, they must identify themselves with a national ID card.

One of them is Brian Egbe, a 15-year old in Mamfe, Southwest Region. According to him, each time he is stopped by the military, he is being arrested and detained for not possessing an ID Card. He added that all attempts for him to make one has not been possible, given that he is still below the age group to make the ID.

« I have been arrested, beaten and locked up 5 times. Whenever the military do raids in the quarters or when I’m traveling, they always arrest and beat me. It is only after my parents pay some money before they leave me. They insist that I am man enough to posses an ID Card. Unfortunately, whenever we go to make one, we are being told that I am still below the age of 18, which is impossible for me to have one, » Egbe attested.

Like him, many continue to face fierce brutality from security Officers. So result to extorting money from these minors.

The Global Forum for the Defence of the Less Privileged (GFLDP), a nonprofit organisation based in Buea, recorded another case where a 16-year old boy complained of repeated torture in the hands of security officers.

« Our office registered this case where a young teen of age, 16, reported continuous brutality from security officers. He told us that the military, who has been guarding that area for sometime now, always arrest and brutalise him, even going to the extent of detaining him. The unfortunate thing is that this young man cannot even secure an ID Card at the moment. We are in communication with the Southwest Regional bureau of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom (NCHRF), to see who we can mitigate the situation, » explained Mr Akoh Baudouin, Executive Director of GFLDP.

It should be noted that, Cameroonians are eligible to make ID Cards only after the age of 18 years.

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