Ali Ntah, one of the victims of the Ngarbuh Massacre of February 14th, 2020 in Donga Mantung Division in North West Region of Cameroon is in Ndu in the North West today March 18 when the fourth trial of suspects of the killings is taking place in a military tribunal in Yaounde situated close to 400km from Ndu.
“I don’t have money to travel to Yaounde for the trial. In the past trials, lawyers defending our case sponsored our trips to Yaounde to attend the court case. This time around I have not received money from them,” Ali Ntah told Mimi Mefo Info on phone Thursday, March 18th, 2021.
Ali expressed willingness to witness justice take its course for those who killed his relatives in a bloody February 14th Massacre punished accordingly but regrets that he has been handicapped financially.
Barrister Tamfu Richard, lead lawyer defending victims of the massacre, has accused the government of intensional depriving victims of justice by taking the trial hundreds of kilometers from victims.
“There is a military tribunal in Bamenda in the North West closer to Ndu subdivision where victims are residing. Why will the government prefer to judge suspects in Yaounde far from the poor victims?” He questioned in agony in a telephone interview with Mimi Mefo Info.
Human Rights Watch in a publication on the trial Wednesday, March 17th says, “The participation of victims of gross human rights violation in criminal proceedings is an essential way of giving them a voice “.
The body adds that Cameroon, with the help of international partners, should ensure that victims participate in the trial “…so that their rights to justice and reparations are upheld “
Twenty-one civilians among them thirteen children and a pregnant woman were killed in the course of the massacre. Five homes were burnt. Since then, the government arrested two soldiers and a gendarme for committing the act. Seven other members of the vigilante group stated by an independent investigation team as haven participated in the killings have not been arrested.