War Crimes: Human Rights Watch slams Cameroon military and separatists_04-08-21
Human Rights Watch, HRW report of August 3, 2021 has revealed excesses of the Cameroon military and the non-state armed groups in the North West Region of cameroon.
According to the report, soldiers of Cameroon army and elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR have raped, beaten killed and destroyed homes of civilians in Mbuluf village, a locality in Kumbo, Bui Division of the restive North West region of Cameroon.
Through telephone interviews with ten victims and witnesses, eighteen relatives of victims to abuses, journalists, and civil society activists, firebrand senior researcher at HRW, Ilaria Allegrozzi established that security forces killed two civilians, raped a 53-year-old woman, destroyed and looted 33 homes, shops, and traditional leader’s palace in the North West region on June 8 and 9, 2021.
« Victims and witnesses said that in the very early hours of June 9, about 150 security force members from both the regular army and elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (Bataillon d’Intervention Rapide – BIR) conducted a security operation in and around Mbuluf village, North-West region. As the forces approached the village on foot, fearful residents fled to the nearby bush », part of the report reads.
The report of the rights group further exposes the pathetic treatment of residents of Mbuluf village who were fleeing into the bush following military raids in their community between 1 and 2am by security forces.
« The soldiers asked the couple where the separatist fighters were, “We said we didn’t know,” she said. “They said my husband had a gun. We said we had no gun. They said they would kill us, and then one of them raped me ».
« Other soldiers threatened and beat both men, the wife, and another member of the group. The soldiers then forced all six people to walk for about two hours to Ndzeen village », a portion of the report reads.
On their part, the report reveals that separatist fighters killed a 12-year-old boy on June 6, a 51-year-old teacher on July 1, and kidnapped four humanitarian workers on June 25..
HRW has urged the government to investigate these excesses and implement sanctions. « Cameroon’s authorities should investigate and prosecute the attackers and their commanders, while the UN Security Council and other regional and international partners should impose targeted sanction against those responsible for the grave human rights violations ».