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Human Interest/Society

Human rights group indicts soldiers over fresh atrocities in NW, SW

The Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA has released a list of atrocities committed in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon between the months of May and August 2020.

The international human rights groups accuses the military of atrocities including extra-judicial executions, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, looting and extortion, poor prison conditions, and inhumane and degrading treatment of detainees.

The group describes a military offensive of Thursday 28 May 2020 in Bonduma as a massacre.

“This is not the first case of arbitrary executions in Buea, within the context of the Anglophone crisis. On Monday 30 July 2018, five young men in the locality of Bakweri Town were massacred under similar circumstances. On Thursday 27 September 2018, the military (Brigade d’Intervention Rapide – BIR) killed seven unarmed civilians in a compound on Ikundi Street in the Babuti neighbourhood of Buea town,” CHRDA’s release reads.

Other instances cited include the execution of Ebangi Brice in Bangem, South West region; military operations in Menchum Division, North West Region (July); the shooting of three children in Tiko; Military operations in Mautu, and military operations in Ikiliwindi.

“Arbitrary arrest and illegal detention are one of the methods employed by government forces to crack down on separatist fighters. Unfortunately, only the civilian population is suffering the effects,” the CHRDA report states.

The harassment of civilians, it adds, is another daily reality of civilians.
“On several occasions, civilians have been arbitrarily and unlawfully detained, and have paid a bribe to regain their freedom. Some die in the process, killed by the military. The military continues to fight in civilian-inhabited areas, and stray bullets have killed several civilians.”

It cites one of several arrests in Muyuka, a violent hotspot in the South West region: “On 6 July 2020, the military conducted a mass, cordoned search of Mamfe, Manyu Division, SWR, harassing and arresting over 60 persons, and later detaining them at the Mamfe Police station. Fifty were subsequently released, while ten remained in custody.”

The human rights body ends its report with a call for an investigation. “The Government must protect, promote and fulfil human rights. Doing this will rekindle trust and collaboration between the rights bearers (civilians) and public authorities.”

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