Bamenda(National Times)-Social Democratic Front(SDF) Senator Henry Kemendeh Gamsey, has petitioned the Attorney General of Cameroon’s Restive North West Region to investigate alleged military excesses on the population.
According to a complaint dated November 1, a copy which The National Times read through, Senator Kemendeh informs the senior judiciary officer that he has received disturbing information of alleged military brutality in certain neighbourhoods of Balikumbat.
In the petition titled “a complaint of arson, torture and murder allegedly committed by the armed forces at the Catholic Church St. Mary’s Parish neighbourhood in the Balikumbat village of Balikumbat Sub-division of Nkokentunjia Division”, Kemendeh is praying for prompt investigations.
Kemendeh writes in the complaint that he got information that in the night of October 31 breaking November 1, soldiers stormed some neighbourhoods in the village.
“In effect through a telephone call I received this morning from an affected informant at the neighbourhood of St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish, I was informed that sometime between midnight and 3:00AM today, 10 military men entered the compound of the said informant, smashed open all doors and severely tortured members of the concerned household with particular emphasis on a young man.
Actually, the latter’s life was only spared by divine intervention. After the said acts of torture, the military men made away with some valuables they could lay hands on and took off for yet other neighbouring compounds,” Senator Kemendeh stated.
He continued in the complaint that his informant “ remained motionless with her shattered doors open till this morning when they managed their way out of the house only to find out (as could be perceived) that many houses within the same neighbourhood have been set ablaze by the military following information gathered from each household”.
The member of the Resolutions and Petitions Committee of the Senate alerts the Attorney General in the letter that “my lord further information reaching me talks of a planned continuation of the very atrocities with today’s nightfall thereby causing the population to migrate elsewhere whereas the Minister in charge of Defence in a recent media outing talked about the military protecting the population and their property.
On the totality of the foregoing, I respectfully urge your lordship to use your good offices and cause an investigation to be carried out over these incidents in order that culprits are brought to book and the victims compensated,” the Barrister cum Senator petitioned.
Kemendeh is the first from a Senator in Cameroon since the crisis in the two English-speaking Regions started. It is believed that, the lawyer is stepping out of the crowd to push for justice given that he was voted into the Senate on an opposition party platform.