NGARBUH MASSACRE: SERIOUS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY THAT ARE CALLING ON ALL OF US!
REPORT OF THE GREVIOUS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY PERPETRATED IN THE LOCALITY OF NGARBUH 3, NDU SUB DIVISION OF NDONGA-MANTUM DIVISION, IN THE NORTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON.
We, the Coalition of Civil Society-Human Rights organizations for Peace in the Anglophone Regions and other affected Regions (The Coalition), created in December 2019 by 32 Cameroonian Human rights CSOs because of the ongoing Anglophone crisis, wish to bring to:
THE ATTENTION OF NATIONAL AND NTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THE FOLLOWING FACTS:
1. Following the alert received from our members in the field information circulating on social network of a huge massacre on a village called Ngarbuh 3, the Coalition set up a pro bono fact-finding mission within the framework of the Monitoring, Documentation and Reporting (MDR) with a view to shedding light on this horrific incident of gross human rights violations perpetrated in NGARBUH 3 village, NDU Sub division of the Ndonga-Mantum Division, in the North West Region of Cameroon.
2. After ascertaining the great human and material damages, discussing with eyewitnesses and survivors, the said fact-finding mission came out with the following facts.
3. The Military raid massacre took place in Ngar 3 village (also known as Ngarbuh 3), a farming locality and highly remote village, situated at the borders of Wibum and Nso (Ndu and Nkum subdivisions), NDU Sub division of the Ndonga-Mantum Division, in the North West Region of Cameroon.
4. On Thursday night 13th February 2020, armed elements belonging to the Cameroonian army, accompanied by local herdsmen and other pro-government armed militias, camped in the neighboring villages of Ngar 3 (Chii and Fiiru).
5. On Friday 14th of February 2020, at around 3 a.m., an attack was launched in the village of Ngar 3 from Fiiru by a joint military operation consisting of six soldiers, three armed men belonging to ex-combatants of the restoration forces of the Virtual State of Ambazonia and numerous herdsmen. The operation consisted, among other things, the burning and shooting everywhere.
6. According to eyewitnesses and survivors, the joint mission was headed by the former combatant who led the armed group to Ngarbuh, a resident in Ndu town, Nfor Marcel called “Bullet” alongside two others ex-combatants around him. He ran away from the work (fight), more than a year and joined the National Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Committee (NDDRC), created by Decree N° 2018/719 of 30 November 2018.
7. The attack was bloody, no one was spared, some villagers were burned alive and those who could not find shelter were shot, as shown by the bodies of the victims scattered in the bushes.
8. Pregnant women and children who escaped gunfire and machete while sheltering in a house were all burnt alive. The Manjo Seka family was wiped out entirely, a family of 9, Father, mother, and children.
9. Some survivors attested that a total of 13 houses are now known to have been burnt and many villagers burnt (many burnt beyond recognition), and several missing.
10. Among the 35 copses discovered so far were three (3) pregnant women, three (3) children including a family of about 9 persons and other men and women.
11. Among the victims, we recorded about 9 men, 6 women, and 14 children of whom were three children below three years as there were some cases in the hospital. Out of the 14 children, 11 were of primary school-going ages, three were still breast feedings.
12. After the massacre, the villagers say they received an alert they said came from the village chief of Ntumbuw (Ngarbuh is a locality) who relayed the threats of some soldiers, telling them that they had three days (72 hours) to leave the villages. otherwise they would have expected the worst.
13. After the departure of the soldiers, some villagers helped by some pastors and Ambazonian fighters, buried the victims on Saturday February 15, 2020 in numerous mass graves.
14. There’s possibility that the number of deads may increase as many are still lying in critical conditions in some hospitals like the Banso Baptist Hospital (like the case of another pregnant woman, Ms. Shuka Ngon, 30, who was operated on immediately after arriving at the hospital after being severely tortured, resulting in the death of the baby she was carrying). Villagers continue to search for family members whom they have not heard from since the attack.
15. According to reports, certain elements of the army implicated in the attack returned to the scene a few hours later to intimidate and proceed to seize the mobile phones of the inhabitants of the said village. This unintentionally led many residents to take refuge in the bushes and neighboring villages.
16. 48 hours after the massacre, on 16th February at 11:29 am, the Facebook page of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Program, the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (NCDDR) of former Boko Haram fighters and armed groups from the Northern Regions – Northwest and Southwest Regions, mentioned that the “Amba want their kids to die so that they cry for genocide and that in so far as Ambazonian fighters continue to exist every body including children shall continue to be targeted’”. The same Facebook page attributed the killing the Ambazonians and that what happened is to be counted as “collateral damage ” “For as long as Amba boys exist in your communities, there will be casualties, and some of them will be children. It is called collateral damage. AmbaFools sit abroad and say, we have to break eggs to make an omelette”.
17. About 72 hours since the massacre, in a RADIO PRESS RELEASE N ° 0104 / CRP / MINDEF / 019 of 17 February 2020, signed by the Commander ATONFACK
NGUEMO, head of the Communication Division, “the Minister Delegate to the Presidency in charge of Defense formally denies these false allegations, and specifies, in the light of the methodically and professionally cross-checked information that it is quite simply an unfortunate accident, a collateral consequence of the security operations in progress in the Region” and concluded that the killing of civilians and destruction of property in Ngarbuh came as a result of military confrontation with separatists as the military were in a process of dislodging a base of the separatists.
18. According to reliable sources, such phenomenon have been recurrent in the Anglophone regions since the crisis escalated in October 2016 like the cases of BALLIKUMBAT in the Ngoketunjia Division, BABANKI TUNGO in the Mezam Division, PINYIN in MEZAM Division of North West region, BANGEM, NDOH, MUYENGE, EKATA in the South West region and no investigation reports have been published.
19. Several killings have been committed in English-speaking regions both by members of the defence and security forces and by separatist armed groups in recent months.
20. Since the beginning of the English-speaking crisis in October 2016, no national investigation has been carried out despite the numerous war crimes recorded.
21. These are serious violations of human rights within the meaning of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) of 1981, of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) of 10 December 1984, all ratified by the Republic of Cameroon.
22. These facts presented above constitute serious crimes (Crimes against humanity, murders, torture, attacks against the civilian population and in particular the looting and destruction of property, etc.).
23. Only an Independent International Commission of Inquiry will be able to clarify the circumstances and establish the responsibilities in a very short time concerning the war crimes committed by both sides (Army and armed groups).
IN VIEW OF ALL THE ABOVE, THE COALITION:
1. Condemns in unequivocal terms armed attacks against the civilian population in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon;
2. Notes, with regret, that the Cameroonian Government has failed in its international commitments to protect civilians on the one hand, and to immediately launch an urgent and effective investigation into all allegations of human rights violations against its security forces somewhere else;
3. Firmly requests the Cameroonian government to repair the damage caused by this attack, which it shamefully described as “collateral damage”;
4. Strongly urges that all actors in the chain who contributed at any level to the attack and massacre of the women and children of Ngarbuh 3 be brought to justice promptly;
5. Firmly demands from the Cameroonian Government, the urgent establishment of a witness and survivor protection system; these are determinants of the success of investigations and prosecutions in the criminal justice system;
6. Urges the Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Human Rights Council and human rights organizations to effectively contribute to ending impunity for actors of human rights violations;
7. Requests the international community and the friendly countries of Cameroon to act to persuade the Cameroonian government to start a process of resolving the conflict through direct negotiations with the leaders of armed opposition groups;
8. Strongly calls on the armed groups to stop their attacks on populations and children;
9. Finally, reminds the parties to conflicts (government forces and separatist armed groups) that they are bound by International Humanitarian Law (IHL) must respond to the massacres on the civilian population;
Done in Yaoundé on the 18th Day of February 2020
By the Coalition of Civil Society-Human Rights Association for Peace in the Anglophone Regions and other affected Regions
For the Coalition
The National Coalition Coordinator
Mr. NFORMI Willam NGENGE, (Volunteers for the Consolidation of National Unity)
The Permanent Secretary of the Coalition
Ms. Cyrille Rolande BECHON (Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme Cameroun)
List of Signatory Members of the Coalition:
NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME
Volunteers for the Consolidation of National
Unity (VOCONU) NFORMI William NGENGE (National Coalition Coordinator)
Mandela Center International Jean Claude FOGNO (Vice National Coalition Coordinator)
Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme Mme Cyrille Rolande BECHON (Permanent Secretary)
Human is Right CHAMANGO Blaise Aimé (Vice Permanent Secretary)
Refugee Welfare Association Cameroon (REWAC) Mrs Rita ABIA (North West Regional Coordinator)
Association des Amis du Droit (AAD) POJUME Hugues (Regional Coordinator other regions affected)
African Conscience NGWEFUNI FRITZ NGHOPELIE
Footsteps for Women and Children-Cameroon (FOWEC-CAM) YUVEN Juliana
Solutions Cameroun YIMGA Marie André
Sustainable Action for Community Development Cameroun (SACOD) CHEYEH Juluis Ngwan
Youth Development, Training and Protection Association (YDETPA) Mrs MARAH Lizette Ache
Community Assistance in Development (COMAID) Mrs FAHBEI Mabel
Community Human Right and Advocacy Center (CHRAC) FOTOH Titus
African Conscience TARNTEH AMADU (Regional Coordinator )
Civil Society Platform for Democracy Dr. Hilaire KAMGA
Tomorrow Children RIENGOUON NJAYOU Mariama
South West Region of Human Right Association NDOMI Justin B.
Integrated Devolpment Foundation (IDF) OUSSEMATOU Dameni (Assistant Regional Coordinator, NW)
Children Care and Right Organisation SOPGU KENNE Abraham
African Conscience NJIMEKEH CLEMENT
Center for Reseach Education and Resources Distribution (CEREDEUP-TIKO) ATABONG Felico ( Regional Secretary, SW)
All Women Together WEGUEM Ideline
SOS Jeunesse Libre TOMMY Pascale Cynthia
Community Initiative for Justice Peace and Development Nkanghapere Smella Shangha
Indepedent HRD AMBOH Gordon
Community Initiative for Justice Peace and Development Nkanghapere Smella Shangha
African Conscience NGONG MAGNUS
List of some victims of the massacre of Ngarbuh (Bamenda)
Sika Family, all 7 dead
1. Sika Ibrahim (father) 45 years old
2. Sika Assana (pregnant mother)
3. Sika Amsa- 9 years old, class 4
4. Sika Alima- 7 years old, class 3
5. Sika Yamsi- 6 years old, class 3
6. Sika Yasimiratou- 12 years old, class 6
7. Sika Soliatou- 5 years old, class 1
Kwecheri Gladys and 8 other victims in her family, all dead
8. Kwecheri Gladys
9. Shey Diana- 15 years old, class 6
10. Shey Midian – 13 years, old class 6
11. Shey Jude- 9 years old, class 3
12. Shey Tracy- 5 years old, class 1
13. Shey Cynthia- 6 years old class 2
14. Mary Angel- 4 years old, Government nursery school
15. Berinyuy -5 months old
16. Janet Ya’a- 45 years old
17. Family of Pa Abdulai Sunjo
18. Pa Abdulai Sunjo- 80 years old
19. Muamshatu- 30 years old
20. Family of Pa Alidu Bah 21. Pa Alidu Bah- 75 years old.
22. Kinyui, female- 60 years old 23. Mubela, female- 7 years old.
24. Shuka, female, 30 years old: (pregnant at now at Banso Baptist Hospital. She lost the pregnancy).
25. Justine, male, 18 years old.
Children Who Survived the Carnage
Family Of Sika
Shakira, female, 12 years old
Usani, male, 9 years old
Gambo, male, 6 years old
Ngarbuh village on the eve of the massacre
Some of the children massacred in Ngarbuh 3
Many mass graves are found in Ngarbuh 3