January 29th 2021, Buea Cameroon – A source at Cameroon Concord News Group has confirmed that another assassination has taken place by government forces. It has been reported that the victims were four minors all under seventeen. The “ethnic” war in Cameroun’s formerly UK occupied region is still using innocent people as collateral damage. In the past four years, according to reliable sources, over 20,000 people have lost their lives in the crossfire between forces of the regime in Yaoundé and pro-independence forces otherwise known as the self-declared Federal Republic of Ambazonia (2017).
The terror in Bamenda on Saturday, 23 January 2021, has caused anger amongst the local population and human rights organisations. However, a statement released by the Cameroun Ministry of Defense dated, 27 January 2021, labelled the insurgency as a misrepresentation of the facts. The official statement contradicts UK broadcasting Corporation, the BBC investigation report on 26 January 2021 which linked the execution of the defenceless minors to government forces. Witnesses from the detailed BBC report stated that the bodies of the victims “were dragged and dumped at the Bamenda Mortuary by members of the Cameroon army.”
Three of the four victims have been identified as Ngalim Alucious, Ntakah Nelly Mbah, Sale Sadam. They were all sixteen. Until today, the identity of the fourth child is Fon Blaise. A local community leader and teacher at a secondary school attended by two of the minors stated that all these boys had a bright future. Ngalim Alucious was exceptionally bright at school and told everyone that he was looking forward to going to university to study law. Another’s family and friends said that “Ntakah Nelly Mbah had ambitions of becoming a professional footballer before being barbarically shot down like an animal. The school professor, spoke on behalf of some of the victims’ parents, unable to speak to the media in fear of retaliation by the army.”
Human Rights Groups and the local population have confirmed that the murdered minors were not criminals and were not members of the pro-independence forces. The statement from the Cameroun Ministry of Defence has been widely interpreted as inaccurate by pro- independence leaders in the USA and Europe. Dabney Yerima, a leading member said
“the statement from the regime in Yaoundé gave the excuse of an anti-terrorist operation was being undertaken. The people of Southern Cameroons are being slaughtered by the Cameroon Military who were ordered to kill innocent civilians.” Human Rights groups in the country have denounced the Cameroun military in “being trigger-happy and spraying bullets and these are not just war crimes; they are unconscionable crimes.”
According to Human Rights Organizations, “forty people have been executed within three weeks by blood-thirsty, unruly, and trigger-happy armed forces of Cameroun who are acting without fear of any consequences for their unlawful actions.”
According to Tuesday’s BBC report, “this latest killing was an embarrassment to the regime in Yaoundé.” Consequently, Etchu Tabenyang, a pro-independence leader based in the USA opined “the Interim Government of Ambazonia finds Cameroon government’s press statement objectionable and thoughtless. The statement is a deception in stating that weapons were retrieved after the massacre as neither eyewitnesses nor Human Rights organisations have confirmed this version of events.”
Many in Cameroon believe that the refusal to take responsibility for crimes committed by its forces is now very normal for the Cameroun regime. On 13 January 2021, VOA, Reuters and numerous news agencies and Human Rights groups reported that Cameroun forces carried out an attack on civilians in Mautu village and killed ten people including women and children. The government is still to offer a convincing justification for this atrocity.
As the war in the country rages, the pro-independence leaders consider the regime in Yaoundé a dishonest party and have advanced severally that the regime is incapable of probing the actions of its forces. Dabney Yerima added “the executed minors, women, and children in Bamenda, Mautu, Ngarbuh, Muyuka and Kumba require justice. Considering the numerous massacres of our people by forces loyal to the regime in Yaoundé, the Interim Government of Ambazonia respectfully appeals to the International community to ensure that the appropriate organ of the UN urgently adopts an immediate resolution.”
As the war in the country continues to take innocent lives, pro-independence leaders in the diaspora have welcomed the call by the US Senate RES. 684 for a genuine and inclusive dialogue mediated by the International Community. Dabney Yerima also appeals for a “UN Mandated International Fact-Finding Mission in the former UN Trust Territory of the British
Southern Cameroons to investigate the various crimes perpetrated in the Southern Cameroons from 2016 to present. This fact-finding mission will establish the extent of the atrocities committed against people of Southern Cameroons, especially women, children and the vulnerable. It will also be able to establish the culpability of French Cameroun military forces, including its gendarmes and police and hold them accountable for crimes committed against innocent civilians in the territory of the Southern Cameroons.”
Isong Asu has been reporting on the on-going crisis for the past four years