Saturday, February 22, 2020

Assessment of the Ngarbuh Massacre: 4 senior UN officials persist

On Friday February 21, 2020, four senior officials in the United Nations, signed a press release to condemn the recent massacre of civilians in Ngarbuh in the North West region of Cameroon and to call on the Cameroonian government to protect civilians in English-speaking regions, in the grip of a security crisis.

Despite the government's denial, which tends to minimize the toll of the Ngarbuh massacre on February 14, 2020, the UN persists on the heavy toll of this massacre. 

"We are deeply concerned by reports of violence, including the February 14 attack on the village of Ngarbuh, in the northwest region, which left 23 people dead, including 15 children," said the Special Representative. of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the Secretary General on sexual violence in conflicts, Pramila Patten, the Special Representative of the Secretary General on violence against children, Najat Maalla M 'jid, and the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, in a press release published on February 21, 2020. 

UN officials deplore the fact that in the war between the regular army and the separatist rebels in English-speaking regions, children continue to be particularly affected by the crisis with reports of attacks on schools, significant school closings in affected areas and thousands of out-of-school children. They also regret the multiplication of cases of human rights violations committed against civilians, especially women and children. 

In the document they co-signed, Virginia Gamba, Pramila Patten, Najat Maalla M 'jid and Adama Dieng, call on the Cameroonian government to protect civilians.

“There is an urgent need to prevent further violence and to protect all women, girls, boys and men against serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. Very limited humanitarian access and limited resources for service providers have reduced the availability of sexual and reproductive health care for women, including urgent treatment for survivors of sexual violence, "said the four senior officials from UN. 

They also called on the authorities to fully investigate and hold responsible the perpetrators of the serious violations and abuses that have been committed. 

“Furthermore, we remind the Government that children associated with armed groups must be considered mainly as victims and that their detention should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest duration. The UN is offering its support and assistance to the Cameroonian authorities to remedy this situation and improve the protection and the provision of services to civilians in the affected areas and to those who have been forcibly displaced, "they said.