The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, has documented military/separatist human rights violations and abuses in Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions.
Between October 2020 and February 2021, both defence and security forces in Cameroon and separatist fighters in the North West and South West Rrgions have violated and abused human rights in different aspects.
Going by a report published by CHRDA Thursday , March 11, 2021, killing, torture, burning, harassment, intimidation, indiscriminate shootings among others are aspects of human rights violations committed by the warring sides.
The international human rights group says separatist fighters killed three traditional rulers in Essoh Attah village in Lebialem division in the South West region on the 13th of February 2021.
Before then, fighters killed Chief Francis Molinga of Liwu la Malale village in Buea subdivision.
From killing traditional rulers, CHRDA holds fighters responsible for the killing of seven form one students of Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy- Fiango Kumba in Meme division in the South West Region on the 25th of October 2020.
Separatists equally killed Dr. Luciano Keafon, inspector of economics in the West Region of Cameroon.
The human rights group says he was brutally murdered by separatists in Nkwen Bamenda while visiting his family.
Apart from killing, from October 2020 to February 2021, Ambazonia fighters attacked both government and private structures. They attacked Kulu Memorial College in Limbe beating students and teachers as well as setting ablaze some offices in the school.
Women and girls suspected of having any affair with military men were kidnapped and tortured. The boys imposed a lock down to paralyse regional elections convened by the president of the Republic of Cameroon. In the course of the electoral process,some candidates and voters were kidnapped while in the process of fulfilling their civic responsibility.
Humanitarian workers in the North West and South West regions have not been spared by separatists in past five months. Boys have often threatened and sometimes tortured humanitarian workers.
The attack of schools, private houses, state houses and ambush of civil servants and government agents are some of the atrocities committed in the past five months by separatists.
Defence and Security Forces
The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa says military men killed nine unarmed civilians in Mautu village in the South West on the 10th of January 2021.
The human rights group says among those killed were 50-year-old woman called Tambe Ann and Shey Keisa l, 6-year-old.
In the process, many were wounded by bullets from the military. Villages say separatists do not live there as the ministry of defence claimed shortly after the killing.
In Bamenda on the 23rd of January 2021, military killed four boys in an uncompleted building at Meta Quarter. CHRDA says witnesses filmed the process and circulated on the social media. Cameroonians condemned the killing of the students but a statement from the ministry of defence stated that they were separatists caught in an uncompleted building smoking canabis. Four days after, that is on the 27th of January, military pulled out two boys from their rooms in Bambui – Tubah sub division and shot them to death.
At the level of torture, the human rights group mentioned many cases of such committed by the defence and security forces. The centre points the torturing of Jean Fai Bongong in Ndu -Donga Mantung division in the North West region by police and gendarme officers. The forces beat the man with a long machete while pouring water in a bid to force him show the hideouts of separatists.
In December 2020, military tortured two men and later executed them in an unknown location. In a related development, military have been accused of setting ablaze a house in Batibo Momo division in the North West leading to the burning to death of a baby on the 11th of February 2021.
Apart from Killing and torturing individuals, CHRDA says the military has equally adopted a method of indiscriminate shooting of people and setting ablaze of villages. On the 22nd of January 2021, military men attacked Bafia village in Muyuka sub division in the South West burning houses. Earlier in December 2020, they carried out a similar exercise in Bekondo village in Meme division still in the South West. In Bafut in the North West, military burnt Bafut Ecovillage; an international cultural heritage site on the 12th of January.
Haven investigated atrocities and human rights violations committed by all the parts involved in the war, the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa called for a proper address of the root cause of the crisis by the government. It holds that only this can be termed the beginning of a frank dialogue for eventual peace.
“CHRDA emphatically abhors these gross human rights violations and reminds the stakeholders of the necessity to urgently prevent violence and protect all civilians from grave violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws”. CHRDA stated.
CHRDA applauds government’s investigation of Ngarbu massacre and prosecution of perpetrators and calls for such to be applied to all other aspects of human rights violation in Cameroon. It urge the government of President Paul Biya to ensure the respect of all most especially women and children.