Official Inquiry report of Ngarbuh Massacre by French Cameroun A Statement from the Interim Government of Ambazonia
On the 14th of February 2020, heavily armed soldiers entered the village of Ngarbuh in Donga- Mantung County at daybreak. According to the United Nations and Human Rights Watch, twenty three local residents; amongst them fourteen children, eleven girls and nine under the age of five were executed in cold blood. Among the victims was one pregnant woman, another pregnant woman survived the massacre but later lost her baby at a local hospital. To complete the gruesome massacre, French Cameroun soldiers burnt nine homes to cover their crime.
We are today registering our profound disappointment with the official report released yesterday by the regime in Yaoundé into the massacre. Our initial investigation into the attack pointed decisively at French Cameroun’s military. Our conclusion has now been confirmed . It is worth recalling that the regime in Yaoundé initially denied any role in the massacre. But French Cameroun’s self-confession that ‘17 members of a local vigilante committee’ were working with their soldiers in this atrocity corroborates credible reports that the Yaoundé government has sponsors armed militias to terrorise and kill civilians in Southern Cameroons.
Immediately after the massacre, the Yaoundé regime had claimed that a mishap has exploded fuel supplies during a gun battle with separatists. They have now contradicted that version of events. For over two years now, we have collected reliable evidence that the regime in Yaoundé is actively involved in stirring-up sectarian violence in Ambazonia.
The French Cameroun’s regime initially claimed that ‘panic-stricken, the three servicemen with the help of some members of the vigilante committee, tried to conceal the facts by causing fires’. This statement is fraught with problems because all eyewitnesses confirmed that this incident was an unprovoked attack on their village. It is consistent with a pattern of murderous attacks dating back to 2017.
In March 2018, Mami Sarah Appih, 96 years old was burned alive in her bed in KwaKwa village by French Cameroun soldiers. In May 2018, the Guardian Newspaper in the UK carried an article, after thorough investigation, into the burning of villages by French Cameroon forces. In May 2019, French Cameroun forces invaded a peaceful community in Muyuka and summarily executed scores of citizens including five months old baby Martha. The burning of villages by forces loyal to Paul Biya’s regime has been plentiful and documented. None of the above atrocities have been investigated.
On the 18th of February 2020 in Geneva, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated ‘We call on the Government to ensure that the security forces abide by applicable international law norms standards during the conduct of their operations’. Yesterday’s statement undermines the credibility of the regime and its ability to impartially investigate any of these atrocities. The report further claims that the United Nations was invited to attend but it offered technical support instead. As a people, Southern Cameroonians regret the United Nations’ non- participation in this investigation.
Since the war declaration by French Cameroun on the peaceful people of Southern Cameroons, the army loyal to the regime in Yaoundé has burned down over three hundred and twenty villages. The village of Ngarbuh in Donga-Mantung County is one of three hundred crime scenes. We strongly condemn these acts of genocide. These attacks are now premeditated, well-planned and they show a flagrant disregard for life by these soldiers. It is noteworthy that French Cameroun is a signatory to many international human rights conventions but, in Southern Cameroons, their military is conducting a genocidal campaign with impunity.
After yesterday’s report, the evidence is now overwhelming that this regime and its forces aren’t trustworthy. Yesterday’s statement admits culpability of French Cameroun’s forces.
We are today calling on the international community through the United Nations to pass an immediate resolution necessitating an Independent Fact Finding Mission to start work in the Southern Cameroons. We believe that only such a mission will establish the facts in Ngarbuh and other scenes of genocides in the Southern Cameroons.
We hope that the international community accepts this statement as a genuine attempt from the people of Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) to bring this war to a close and the perpetrators of these crimes to real justice.
Vice President.The Federal Republic of Ambazonia