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Human Rights Watch Slams Cameroon Military Again Despite Cavaye’s Indictment

Yaoundé (National Times)-On the same day when Cameroon’s House Speaker, Honourable CavayeYeguie Djibril was criticizing NGOs, especially for concentrating on the military’s excesses and condoning with human rights violations of armed separatists in the Anglophone Regions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) was busy criticising the country military again, accusing it of attacking the village of Meluf in the North West Region and hospitals, killing five civilians including a mentally disabled man.

The report, was published on Thursday, April 10, while Cavaye was making closing remarks at the March ordinary session of Parliament.

According to the report, about 60 Government forces including gendarmes, regular soldiers and some elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) killed five civilians including some who were attempting to escape.

The report is supported by videos, photos, testimonies of survivors who said soldiers entered the village on April 4 with an armoured vehicle and three trucks using a bulldozer to clear the road.

According to these testimonies, about 80 homes were torched, while seven were burnt down by the military. Some persons were killed in their houses after the failed to locate the whereabouts of the Ambazonia fighters.

Worst still, one of the corpses was mutilated with the head cut off and separated from the body, while two other corpses had their genitals cut off, the report stated.

The international NGO also said Meluf had come under a previous attack on December 8, 2019 and a 70 year old man with hearing disability was burnt alive by soldiers with dozens of homes destroyed.

HRW also accused Government forces of attacking hospitals in the North West forcing many patients to die at home rather than go to the hospitals.

On March 1, security forces are accused of entering the Wainamah Health Centre in search of separatists. A bike rider who was waiting for a patient was shot death by security forces. While, on March 27, soldiers took their casualties to the Mbingo Baptist Hospital and while at the hospital they fired several shots between the female ward and staff room forcing medics to abandon patients.

Also, on April 1, this year, HRW alleged that soldiers attacked an area around Mbingo Baptist Hospital shooting at close range a lady who bled to death because relatives were too afraid to take her to the hospital.

Generally, the report accused Government forces of committing human rights abuses on the local population in the Anglophone Regions.

“Government forces are committing abuses against people living in the Anglophone areas of Cameroon,” Lewis Mudge, Central Africa Director of HRW says.

It is such reports by civil society groups that Cavaye Yeguie Djibril was criticising as he closed the March 2019 session of Parliament.

In his discourse, Cavaye maintained that security forces are exhibiting “professionalism” in their mission to the South West and North West Regions.

Paradoxically, the report was published on the same day with glaring examples of abuses of security forces on the local population. Moreover, such reports are always used by policy makers especially at the international level in relating with Cameroon.

This latest report is another nail on the coffin as the war in Anglophone Cameroon has tainted the image of the Biya regime and security forces whose excesses are being reported and exposed almost on daily bases.

 

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