Friday, January 24, 2020

Government and separatists overwhelmed by new report

"Human Rights Watch, HRW, released its 2020 report on the Cameroon human rights barometer, in which he indicted Cameroonian government forces for murders, destruction of property, burning of villages, torture, as well as for other human rights violations. "

The report also charged separatist fighters in English-speaking regions for kidnapping, torture and the occupation of schools. 

Citing examples of documented cases, the HRW report on the situation in Cameroon, focusing on the events of 2019, noted in its opening statement that: "Armed groups and government forces have committed numerous violations of human rights throughout Cameroon throughout 2019 ". 

The report, although largely concerned with the atrocities committed in the northwest and southwest regions of the country, also documented attacks by the Boko Haram sect in the northern regions of Cameroon. He points out that the sect carried out more than 100 attacks, killing more than 100 civilians in 2019. 

On the situation in English-speaking Cameroon, the report notes: "In the English-speaking regions, violence has intensified as government forces carried out large-scale security operations and as armed separatists carried out increasingly sophisticated attacks. 

More than 3,000 civilians and hundreds of members of the security forces have been killed in English-speaking regions since 2016, when the crisis began, and unrest in these regions has displaced more than half a million people. people". 

Murders, destruction of property, torture by government forces Limiting its report to groups, and highlighting their abuses, HRW accused the Cameroonian government forces of destroying property, killing, torturing, among others.

"Responding to growing attacks by armed separatist groups, the security forces have killed dozens of people, burned hundreds of homes and other property in villages and towns in the north-west and south-west regions, and Tortured Separatists Suspected in Detention, "said the report. 

The report cites the February 6 attack on Bole Bakundu market by state security agents, which resulted in the deaths of 10 men; the April 4 attack on the village of Meluf in the North West region, which resulted in the death of five civilian men, including a mentally handicapped person, and the injury of a woman. 

Eighty houses were burgled, looted and some burned; the May 15 incident in Mankon, Bamenda, was cited, where Air Force and BIR soldiers killed three men and burned more than 70 houses; the 24 September attack on the royal palace at Bafut, a UNESCO World Heritage site - where soldiers injured a man and looted the palace museum, taking away several precious objects; the incommunicado detentions of several people at the State Secretariat for Defense, better known by its French acronym, the SED, where the gendarmes and other security agents used torture, including severe beatings and near-drowning, as well as other ill-treatment to coerce suspects to confess to crimes or to humiliate and punish them. 

The report also said that: "Although the government maintains that it does not tolerate crimes committed by the security forces, it does not demonstrate progress in investigations and sanctions." 

Kidnappings, torture, occupation of schools by armed separatists The HRW report also charged separatist fighters, saying that: "Separatist armed groups have killed, tortured, assaulted and abducted dozens of people, including students, teachers, members of the clergy and administrative and traditional authorities. 

Citing specific cases, HRW highlighted the kidnapping on February 16 of 170 students, mostly girls under 18, of a teacher and two guards from a Kumbo boarding school, who were released the next day ; the torture in mid-May of a man in an abandoned school in the village of Bali, in the North-West region; the incident of June 18 where more than 40 people were beaten and robbed in Bafut; the kidnapping on June 28 of the president of the SDF, John Fru Ndi, as well as the kidnapping of the archbishop of Bamenda, Cornelius Fontem Esua.

In addition to the situation in English-speaking Cameroon, HRW has also documented the suppression of opposition demonstrations, as well as the detention of peaceful demonstrators. It also recorded the repression of sexual relations between people of the same sex. 

The report also cites the lack of transparency in the trials of security personnel accused of committing human rights violations. He said: "The visible lack of responsibility seems to have fueled the abuses, including murder, destruction of property and torture". 

The report mentions the United States' decision to reduce its military support to Cameroon, due to the alarming human rights violations in this country. He also mentions...

Germany's decision to end its military cooperation with Cameroon, alongside the position of other international actors, who generally protest against the numerous cases of human rights violations by the Cameroonian government, especially in the English-speaking regions.