On Wednesday morning a driver was shot dead by a soldier at the premises of the St Mary Soledad’s Hospital in Bamenda, Cameroon’s North West region.
During the incident, several bullets are said to have struck an adjoining ambulance call centre building, endangering the lives of patients and hospital staff.
Following the unfortunate happening, Doctors Without Borders has condemned the action calling on the warring sides in the restive regions to respect the rules of engagement.
“We categorically condemn in the most severe terms the use of arms in, around or against health facilities,” said Emmanuel Lampaert, Doctors Without Borders’ Operations Coordinator for Cameroon.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that staff and patients have faced security incidents in this region. In recent weeks and months, our medical teams have been threatened a number of times by different parties involved in the crisis, including intimidation at gunpoint,” Lambert adds.
To the Operations Coordinator for Cameroon, the call “goes to every actor involved in the current crisis”.
“We remind all parties that medical facilities and vehicles are exclusively dedicated for the provision of medical assistance and must be respected and protected to let health workers treat and transport patients in a safe and secure environment” he adds.
Being one of other groups providing health care in the restive regions,
Doctors Without Borders prides itself as a neutral, independent medical organisation. Working in more than 70 countries worldwide, its aim is to provide care for populations in distress, irrespective of political convictions, language, gender, religion or creed.
The minister of Defense later reacted to the incident, saying the soldier that carried out the act has been arrested.