By Cindy Lemu
The Cameroon Anglophone Crisis database of atrocities in partnership with the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) and University teams around the world have presented findings of 15 human rights atrocities documented between 2020 and 2022 in Cameroon’s two English-speaking Regions.
The report is being published on the eve of Human Rights Day, to be observed on Saturday, December 10 2022.
The atrocities documented in 2020 include several raids and attacks committed by both state and non-state actors in the conflict.
For instance, the military has been accused of burning homes in Three Corners Bekondo, Southwest Region, and destroying homes and livestock in Bali Nyonga, Northwest Region of the country. Both incidents occurred in January and December 2020 respectively.
Meanwhile, armed separatist fighters under a group known as ‘Omega Squad’ “forced students to undress and flee while setting their school, Kulu Memorial College in Limbe, Southwest Region, on fire,” according to the database report.
In two separate attacks, the organisations also blamed the Cameroon military and separatist fighters for human rights abuses in “the burning of buildings in Mbalangi Village, Southwest Region, and widespread burnings in Kikaikom, Northwest Region.”
The non-state armed group called the ‘Buffalos of Bali Nyonga’, linked to the Ambazonia Restoration Forces accepted responsibility for burning of the Government School (GS) Bali Town, while the Cameroonian military is implicated in the burning of Tashem Village in Northwest Region.
The report further illustrates how the Cameroonian military claimed responsibility for the extrajudicial killing of four youths in Meta Quarter.
The report further expatiate how attacks on schools and health facilities were rampant in 2022 in the conflict hit regions.
These include; the burning of the Mamfe District Hospital, jeopardizing the healthcare of the 85,000 people it served, the forcing of school-going children to strip naked at gunpoint by the ‘Fako Mountain Lions’. (Picture illustration below)
“A member of the Southern Cameroons Defense Forces affiliated to the Ambazonia Restoration Forces was implicated in the burning down of Queen of the Rosary College, a girls’ boarding school near Mamfe, Southwest Region.”
Government Practicing Primary School Molyko Group 1 in Buea and the boys’ dormitory of Presbyterian Secondary School Mankon in Bamenda were also burned.
Findings from the report blamed the Cameroon government and separatist fighters for human rights abuses that have been carried out in the country’s two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest between 2020 and 2022 in the Anglophone Crisis.
The reports according to CHRDA aim to “counter impunity; deter further violence; and store information for future international justice processes and a possible national truth, justice, and reconciliation commission.”
The current crisis in Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions have entered its 6th year and the brunt of the conflict is felt by the civilian population as both of the warring factions keep targeting them.
The conflict has been named by the Norwegian Refugee Council as one of the ‘most neglected conflicts’ due to the fact that it is largely unreported.
(C)Mimi Mefo Info