The question of who is responsible for the dreaded killings in Ngarbuh-Ntumbaw village in Donga Mantung Division of the North West region of Cameroon has triggered a fierce debate between President Paul Biya’s government, human rights defenders and independent media.
In the midst of this, an eye witness of Ngarbuh killings has been speaking out about what he saw and heard on February 14th 2020.
For the purpose of security, Mimi Mefo Info prefers to name our source “John”.
According to John, twenty-two people were killed either by shooting or burning by the Cameroonian military. “In my hideout in a bush near Ngarbuh when the military arrived, I saw two elements of the BIR on a motorcycle. They passed just closer to where I was hiding and they spoke in French. Then, some of their colleagues were in a distance”.
To the man, “the military killed nine people in the first compound then six, three and four in other houses. While we counted twenty-one bodies including two pregnant women, one other person died in the hospital”.
Questioned on why the military decided to attack Ngarbuh and not other places in Ndu Subdivision that day, John says “maybe it is because Ambazonia boys occasionally come to the quarter. When they come, they give instructions like respecting Monday traditional ghost town and calling for a school boycott. But before the killings on the 14th of February, it has been over a month that separatists have not come to Ngarbuh”.
On the burning of houses and people in the course of Ngarbuh incident, government’s report says a fire incident broke out in the course of military/separatists confrontation and spread to houses given that most of the inhabitants sell illicit fuel.
An assertion of our informant refutes.
Our source is blunt: “The military attacked civilians in the absence of the separatists. They killed and burnt houses.No one sells fuel in Ngarbuh. This is because the business is not even profitable as people there are mainly farmers that have nothing to do with fuel”.
As to whether Amba boys wear military uniforms in the locality as stated by the divisional officer of Ndu Subdivision, John says it is not true while insisting that the boys move around in civilian outfits.
At the moment, the whereabouts of survivors of Ngarbuh massacre remains unknown.
While expressing concern about the security of those who survived the killings, John states that they fear government’s reprisals if he identifies those giving clear facts and testimonies of the killings.
Helpless, the survivor of Ngarbuh massacre calls on God to institute justice. Government has flatly rejected claims that its troops carried out the Ngarbuh killings. Close to 25 people, including women and babies, were killed in the attack by soldiers according to Human Rights Watch and other international organisations. Mimi Mefo Info documented at least 35 deads in the Ngarbuh massacre.
Mimi Mefo Info.