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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cameroon - Anglophone Crisis: Five Hostages Executed By Anglophone Separatists

AFP|Thirty-two people, including five "hostages", were killed last week in Menka, in the English-speaking region of North West Cameroon, during a clash between forces security and an armed group recluse in a motel, according to an official report of the Cameroonian government.

"Twenty-seven terrorists (were) neutralized" on May 25 during a "special operation" by 30 military and police officers to dislodge "attackers" who had taken possession of a motel in Menka, said Monday evening at the press Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Minister of Communication and spokesman of the government.

He said that "15 hostages" were in the establishment and that five of them had been killed "by the terrorists" after the "summons" of the Cameroonian forces to surrender and release their hostages. A police officer was wounded, as was a "terrorist", while another, a woman, surrendered, said the spokesman.

"Five shotguns in service only in the special units were seized, as well as 17 weapons of war and 10 hunting weapons, with more than 2,000 ammunition, thirty military uniforms and five berets that belonged to the gendarmes and policemen coldly murdered by the same terrorists in Bali, Bello and Batibo "in the same northwestern region, according to Tchiroma.

He refuted the "allegations of carnage perpetrated by the Cameroonian army on civilian populations". The images of Menka's dead toured social networks and provoked the indignation of Cameroon's politicians and human rights defenders.

According to opposition leader Ni John Fru Ndi, who visited Menka on Saturday, "civilians" are among the victims. A member of his party, Nji Tumasang, told AFP that three other people, including one suspected of belonging to the motel group and a motorcycle taxi driver, were arrested in a hospital in a nearby town ( Buchi) and executed by soldiers.

The beheaded group in Menka is "an armed gang" formed for months to "spread terror and desolation among the population," Tchroma said. He claimed that this group is behind the assassination of gendarmes in the region, kidnappings  has become almost daily in the English-speaking regions of the North-West and South-West, as well as kidnappings of Cameroonians and foreigners.

According to the International Crisis Group (ICG) study center, "at least 120" civilians and "at least 43" members of the security forces have been killed since the end of 2016.