Bamenda(National Times)-North West Governor, Adolphe Lele L’Afrique has denied allegations made by the international NGO, Human Rights Watch, accusing the Cameroonian military of raiding the village of Meluf in the North West Region killing five persons, looting and destroying several houses.
“The Governor of the North West wishes to inform the entire population of the Region in particular and National opinion in general that information has been circulating on the social media in the recent days of a purported military raid carried-out in Meluf village, Kumbo Subdivision, Bui Division of the North-West Region on the 4th of April leading to civilian casualties…is completely false,” the statement by Lele L’Afrique read.
According to the Administrative Officer, the information is intended to “throw discredit on the genuine efforts made by Government through the administrative authorities, Defence and Security Forces” for the Region to return to normalcy in the Region.
Without specifically addressing what happened in Meluf on April 4, Lele L’Afrique said military raids are organised to track down those who have refused to disarm since the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reinsertion Programme was set up and are done with “precision and professionalism.”
He also urged social media users to exercise restraint so that the Region in particular and Cameroon in general can enjoy “peace, security and stability.”
The Governor’s statement comes just two days after a damaging report by Human Rights Watch wherein it detailed how about 60 security forces from the gendarme, regular army and members of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) entered Meluf, killing five persons, mutilating their bodies as well as looting and burning down several houses.
With specific and clear examples corroborated by photos, videos and eyewitness testimonies, the NGO also accused the military of attacking hospitals and killing innocent persons.
Despite the Governor’s efforts in giving a good image to the military and Biya regime, military excesses are no longer uncommon in the Anglophone Regions and in every such situation, the Government gives general statement without any specific rebuttal.