Cameroonian security forces have killed at least four civilians and raped one woman since mid-June 2019 during security operations in the North-West region. Those killed include an elderly man with a physical disability and a young man with a mental disability.
“These latest crimes add to a long string of abuses by Cameroonian security forces,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead of seeing that justice is done, Cameroon’s authorities deny that their forces are killing and raping people, so it is essential to remind them that the world is watching.”
Human Rights Watch interviewed witnesses, victims’ family members, medical personnel, and other residents who described the security forces’ actions. Human Rights Watch has not been able to access the country since its researcher was denied entry, without explanation, on April 12.
Unlawful killings and use of excessive force by government forces during security operations have been rife since the crisis started. Human Rights Watch has documented extensive burning of villages by members of the security forces between 2017 and 2019 in both the North-West and South-West regions, as well as killings of civilians and sexual violence.
In the Alachu neighborhood of the city of Bamenda, on July 10, soldiers from the Cameroonian Air Force, which is stationed nearby, killed Nche Otaghie, a 20-year-old man with a mental disability, and Godlove Neba, a construction worker, during security operations. Fru Benego, an 80-year-old man, was also killed that day by a stray bullet during confrontations between the soldiers and armed separatists.