For close to four years, Cameroon’s government and separatist fighters in the country’s North West and South West regions have been unable to come to a compromise.
With a failed attempt by both parties to strike a ceasefire deal, Human Rights Watch, HRW says civilians are paying the price.
“At least six civilians have been killed since May by separatist groups… while the army is responsible for “grave abuses” the rights group says.
It adds that the country’s security forces are also responsible for an attack on a health facility in the North West region and “arbitrarily arrested seven health workers in the South West”.
Separatist groups are not left out: “[They] have killed at least six civilians, including a humanitarian worker and a teacher, since May 2020.” HRW in its statement also recount the story of a teacher at the University of Bamenda killed for teaching contrary to separatists demands for school boycott.
Outlining several other instances including a grenade fired into a hospital courtyard in Bali that killed one and wounded four others, HRW estimates that Since January, at least 285 civilians have been killed in about 190 incidents in the two English-speaking regions.
“The violence took place despite claims by separatist leaders earlier this month that they had engaged in peace talks with the government” says HRW. Central African Director at HRW, Lewis Mudge had said the talks “should include ensuring respect for human rights and accountability for abuses.”
Both parties he added should “publicly commit to immediately end abuses against civilians”.
Mimi Mefo Info