Days after presenting its version of the Ngarbuh massacre in the Donga Mantung division, North West region, Human Rights Watch, HRW has come under attack from the Cameroon government.
In a press conference last night, communication minister, René Emmanuel Sadi said HRW’s report shows “bad faith”, adding that some persons cited to be victims of the massacre are actually residing in other towns of the country.
“The Government of the Republic totally rejects the allegations contained in this “Human Rights Watch” report and reminds the national and international community that, following the incident in Ngarbuh, the President of the Republic, his excellency Paul Biya has ordered an investigation with a view to thoroughly clarifying all aspects of the incident” he said.
Reiterating government version of an explosion in a gun battle that led to the burning of homes in Ngarbuh, the Minister accused HRW of having links with Ambazonia separatists.
“The Cameroonian Government has in fact been in possession for the past few days of irrefutable evidence establishing links between, on the one hand, Mrs Ilaria Allegrozi presented as a senior researcher at the NGO “Human Rights Watch”, author of the biased report incriminating the Cameroonian Armed Forces, and on the other hand, numerous secessionist terrorists who have regularly made available to her and at her request, since the beginning of the crisis in the North-West and South-West Regions, photographs, videos, as well as information on their various abominations, so that they may be used as arguments against our Defence and Security Forces.”
“With regard to the links between the criminal gangs that sow terror and desolation among the populations of the two Regions involved, the arrest on 24 February 2020 of a dangerous secessionist terrorist named Nfor Yacubu and the appraisal of his mobile phone, made it possible to establish that this person maintains close relations of active complicity with Mrs Ilaria Allegrozi” Sadi went on, explaining that they both collaborate to produce “trumpedup visual documents, photographs and videos showing the Cameroonian Defence and Security Forces committing violence against civilians.”
To the Minister, “as recently as this Thursday, 27 February 2020, it has been established that persons whose names are published by certain Non-Governmental Organisations as being among the alleged victims of Ngarbuh, are indeed alive and residing as internally displaced persons in the cities of Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam and Bamenda.”
“It is highly likely that organizations like “Human Rights Watch” will continue to persist in misinforming and manipulating the opinion. However, in the face of this obstinacy, the Cameroonian Government, for its part, intends to make every effort, together with its partners of good will, to bring about a definitive resolution of the situation in the North-West and South-West Regions” Sadi ended.
In line with the HRW’s report however, the UN and other international bodies say eyewitnesses maintain that the government was responsible for the massacre, killing pregnant women and children too.