The Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo, has condemned in strong terms the military brutality meted out on Tsobony Alphonse Tatia aka ‘Ambazonia General’ by some Gendarmerie officers.
The Minister’s condemnation is contained in a strongly worded press release signed on Tuesday, May 14, 2018, after a recorded video of the act in which the Gendarmes were manhandling the suspected Ambazonia fighter went viral on social media.
Tsobony was arrested on Saturday, May 12, 2018, in the Southwest Region before being severely tortured by the security elements.
In the press release, Minister Beti Assomo frowned at the action of the Gendarmes and said the manner in which they handled the situation is at variance with the basic tenets of human rights.
He then pledged that: “An investigation will be opened to identify and, if necessary, punish the perpetrators of these acts that are contrary to the respect for human rights.”
This is the first time the Defence Minister is coming out in public to roundly condemn the action of some elements of the forces of law and order, since the escalation of the Anglophone Crisis.
Many human rights activists in Cameroon have saluted the Minister’s commitment to sanction some unruly security officers and said such sanctions may serve as deterrent measures to other officers who are planning to perpetrate such acts.
Meanwhile, the Minister has also called on the population in the two English-speaking Regions of Cameroon to continue to work in synergy with the forces of law and order so that ‘terrorists’ and other elements trying to undermined the territorial integrity of the country will be fished out and punished according to the law in force.
Meantime, while promising disciplinary sanctions against the Gendarmes for brutalising the suspect, the Minister was equally quick to add that the suspect, Tsobony Alphones Tatia, was fuelling the acts of violence against the population of the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. The suspect is also accused of masterminding the killing of both civilians and military men in the aforementioned Regions.