The State Defence and Security Forces continue to engage in gross human rights violations in the NWR and SWR of Cameroon. The Anglophone crisis started in 2016 and had metamorphosed into an armed conflict by 2018, pitting government troops against non-state armed groups. Since then, Cameroonians have witnessed gross human rights violations and abuses, perpetrated against civilians by fighters on both sides.
On 13 August 2020, CHRDA issued a press release, calling on the armed groups to stop committing human rights abuses against civilians. The statement includes details of violations covering the full spectrum of war crimes, including, among others: murder, hostage-taking and ransom demands, recruitment of child soldiers, intimidation and harassment of the population as well as the use of lethal weapons within civilian-inhabited areas. The report featured the most recent beheading of a woman in Muyuka, SWR and another in Mile 90 in Bamenda, NWR.
The military is equally violating human rights. Between May and August 2020, CHRDA has documented gross human rights violations committed by the Defence and Security Forces. In such violations, civilians are the primary victims. There have been extra-judicial executions, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, looting and extortion, poor prison conditions, and inhumane and degrading treatment of detainees. Inhabitants have also seen their homes and villages burned down by the military in the two English-speaking regions, forcing civilians to flee from their homes and seek refuge in other towns as IDPs or simply flee to the bushes.
The massacre on 28 May 2020 in Buea, SWR
On Thursday 28 May 2020, the military conducted an offensive raid in the neighbourhood of Upper Bonduma, situated in Buea, the chief town of the SWR, which led to the killing of four unarmed young men. The incident took place in an uncompleted building, in which the young men were allegedly caught smoking cannabis before the military executed them. According to our sources, the army raided the building. The young men were then heard crying in pain from being beating for close to 45 minutes. And then gunshots were heard.
The authorities prevented the local population from accessing the scene of the incident. However, the bodies of the young men were subsequently moved to the mortuary after several Buea local administration authorities had visited the scene. They included: Mr Abba Abdouraman, Divisional Officer (DO) of the Sub-Division; Mr David Namange, Lord Mayor of Buea; and Mr Eyenga, commander of the motorised infantry brigade.