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Government Forces Attack Village

Human Rights Watch |  Cameroonian soldiers, gendarmes, and members of the Rapid Intervention Brigade (BIR) carried out a deadly attack on the North-West region village of Meluf on April 4, 2019. Government forces killed five civilian men, including one with a mental disability, and wounded one woman. Three of the bodies were later found mutilated, including one that had been decapitated.

Further attacks could occur if the government forces are not reined in. The authorities should investigate members of the security forces alleged to have carried out these killings, and prosecute those responsible. The attack on Meluf occurred as violence by the security forces in and around health centers and against medical workers in the North-West is increasing.

“Government forces are committing abuses against people living in the Anglophone areas of Cameroon,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Cameroon’s civilian and military authorities should make it clear that these types of abuses will not be tolerated and hold commanders responsible.”

Based on interviews with 10 witnesses and residents and review of video and photographic sources, Human Rights Watch found that the victims were either executed or shot as they attempted to flee when the security forces raided their neighborhood, located near an armed separatists’ camp.

One resident of Meluf, a 45-year-old man, said that soldiers broke into his house, shot his aunt, and killed his uncle:

We woke up to the sound of guns. A soldier broke the window, and asked my aunt where the Amba boys [separatists] were hiding. She told him that she didn’t know, so he shot her in the right arm.

Multiple witnesses said that the security forces entered Meluf on foot, and later with military vehicles, including one armored car with a machine gun mounted on top, at least three military trucks and a bulldozer. The forces forcibly entered at least 80 homes in Meluf, looted some, and burned down seven.

“They used the bulldozer to open the road, which had been blocked with trees, and they shot in all directions,” one witness said. “Some [security forces] were shooting from their vehicles, others were on foot. More than 60 soldiers came.”

Relatives of victims and residents who participated in the victims’ burial said that three bodies were found desecrated. A teacher from Meluf who attended the burial ceremony of the man whose body was found beheaded said:

We proceeded with the burial of the body because we could not find the head, as it had been dumped elsewhere. After the burial, the head was found in the nearby area of Ngoonjo. So, residents picked it up, went back to the grave, dug another hole and buried it.

The genitals were cut off of two of the victims’ bodies. A relative of the men said that he found the victims dead and lying on the floor of their home, their hands tied up and their bodies mutilated. Residents said the mutilation of dead civilians has been traumatizing for the community.

Meluf was also the target of a December 5, 2018 attack, when the army killed seven people, including a 70-year-old man with a hearing impairment who was burned inside his neighbor’s home. Dozens of homes were destroyed in that attack.

Meluf was not the only village in the North-West region to be attacked in recent weeks. Security forces attacked Noi village on March 25, burning and looting eight homes.

The attack on Meluf comes as violence by state security forces in and around health facilities and against medical staff is increasing in the North-West region.

In the early morning of April 1, soldiers and gendarmes carried out an operation in a residential area on the grounds of the Mbingo Baptist Hospital. They killed a 32-year-old mother of three and shot another man while searching for separatists. The woman had tried to warn people that soldiers were coming. “She was shot at close range,” a witness said. “She was shot in the back and bled to death because we could not take her over to the hospital itself.”

On March 27, security forces took their casualties to the same hospital for treatment after clashes with separatists. Witnesses said that a soldier fired several shots inside the hospital, between the women’s ward and the staff room, forcing staff to abandon patients.

On March 21, soldiers entered the Wainamah health center in search of wounded separatists. They accused a motorbike driver waiting outside for a patient of being a separatist. Witnesses said that security forces shot him dead on the main road. A nurse said that the soldiers forced the driver to undress and shot him four times.

Five medical professionals working in several health facilities in the North-West region said that the number of people seeking care at the hospitals has dropped drastically over roughly the last six months because patients don’t feel safe. “Patients prefer to die at home,” a doctor from Kumbo said.

Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch documented the killing of a pregnant nurse, and three attacks by security forces on health facilities in Kumbo, North-West region.

Security force violence directed against medical facilities and health workers is emerging as a worrying trend in the Anglophone regions, one that risks depriving the population of health services when they need them the most, Human Rights Watch said.

“The Cameroonian government’s failure to hold its security forces to account has only encouraged abusive units to commit more crimes,” Mudge said. “Government forces need to respect basic human rights, and stop targeting civilians.”

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  1. Swiss interest in money has blinded the state to the extent of shielding the one person the world is looking to to rein in his marauding murderous forces unleashed all over English-speaking Cameroon.

  2. Systemic genocide by the tribal militia on innocent civilians in Anglophone Cameroon. The predominant Francophone media has been mandated not to report on the genocide being prosecuted on Anglophone Cameroonians.
    The republican army turned tribal militia, armed with imported guns, drive imported armored vehicles, imported ammunition, imported uniforms etc are very happy Kill villagers and burn villages built of mud houses and eucalyptus trees. The same militia are from villages constructed of nothing but leaves and raffia palm.
    This is how low IQ Equatorial Africans operate.
    Import everything from the whiteman use it to kill and impose French language and culture on indigenous Africans then celebrate victoriously.
    Who is fooling who?
    When the IQ is very low…. backwardness!

  3. Cry the beloved country!

  4. Stop the killings and the burnings!
    This is not OK.

    “Ambaboys ” lay your wapons down!

    • @Bikusi Ashawo Akwara smelly lass,
      Withdraw your tribal military from our villages and we will put down our weapons you this smelly lass woman. Without Amba Boys your Bulu-Beti BIRS would have killed their way up to the Nigerian borders but you know what, once we switch from Dane Guns to AK, the story will change. Love line Ambazonia, short lived the struggle for freedom.

    • Do you really have a brain to think?..
      So if Amba forces hide in the Villages, the soldiers should just come and burn down houses..?
      Who is protecting who?..

      Are the brutal uncivilized rapers not trained to protect villages…
      These uncultured people are out to kill and destroy the minority…..

      If we dont seat down in a table and talk about these problems, this failed country will never get a long lasting peace…
      We have idiots , foolish and retarded thieves who dont have a clue about governing and management…

  5. And parliament, is busy looking the other way. Good job, representatives of the people.

  6. All I can say is thank you admin for reporting on both sides.
    That’s all I had asked for

  7. Les forces de défense et de sécurité de la republique francophone du Cameroun ont incendié des maisons et des magasins en AMBAZONIE.

    Ils pillent, ils brûlent, ils tuent, ils mangent des chiens,
    Ils fouillent des poubelles, ils s’habillent en civils pour se faire passer pour des Ambazoniens.
    Ils s’habillent en clochards dans les rues et cachent des armes.
    Ils infiltrent les églises, les écoles, les universités pour écouter ce qui se dit.
    Ils se prostituent() pour glaner des infos
    Les nanas se prostituent() pour glaner des infos
    Les fonctionnaires vivent dans le chantage permanent
    Ils volent les pc, les téléphones et tout ce qu’ils trouvent.

    AMBAZONIANS, STAND FIRM. We are winning the battle in all aspects of te HUMANITY.

    • Has Bareta news declared bankruptcy?

      Good-for-nothing bunch of monsters.

      Copy and paste this same piece of s### even on cnn, the world already knows your intents.

      Only out to scam poor Anglos, international idiooots…

      • Les forces de défense et de sécurité de la republique francophone du Cameroun ont incendié des maisons et des magasins en AMBAZONIE.

        Ils pillent, ils brûlent, ils tuent, ils mangent des chiens,

        Tout comme toi d’ailleurs.

  8. Yesterday CNN and other American and Canadian news outlets reported of the killings of Sudanese civilians by the gov’t security forces as a result of the Sudanese people marching to oust their brutal dictator. Nothing has ever been mentioned by these news organizations regarding the killing of civilians in Cameroon. What does this tell you? If you are a puppet leader like Biya who answers to one of the Western countries, you can kill as many people as you want in your country and they will look the other way but if you are not one of their puppet leaders like the Sudanese leader, you will be exposed and called a dictator. This is the reason we need to unite as one and march in Yaounde and take out Biya. We will lose fighting him with arms as he has Western support and more firepower.

    • @bobjazz,

      Very correct!! but how do we get francophone to wake up? Any idea?

      • @ nosabi, address them as brothers and sisters and not enemies associated with the Biya regime. 90% of francophones hate Biya just as anglophones do. We need to unite as we did in the early 90s with SDF. The majority of Francophones supported the SDF even though the leader was an anglophone which is proof that it can be done. The problem is the Ambazonians with their separation foolishness. The majority of anglophones should ignore the Ambazonians with their nonsense, look for a leader who can truly speak for them, meet with various francophone leaders who are against the Biya regime and plan on how to organize a march in Yaounde. Soudanese just succeeded in ousting their dictator by marching. This is the 3rd country in a row. Nobody was kidnapped or beheaded and kids went to school.

        • My broda,
          That doesn’t make sense to me. Should anglophones be the ones to tell francophone that the country is suffering? Are they not seeing it? They should have woke up and follow their brothers if they care about change. Have you been reading their newspapers? do they care if 20 or 30 or even 100 people are murdered in Kumba or Kumbo? Lets be very careful not to follow this usual way of blaming the victims. We all know how this problem started. It could have been stopped if the powers that be gave it the attention it needed.

  9. We should all condemn Pa Mukete so that Heaven, will finally nail his coffin.
    This is not the time, for him to talk about what is good for cameroon. He is
    a disappointment and a selfish individual. What, has he done to Kumba his
    chiefdom, so one can say he can do the the country he pretends to love?

  10. Finally, even Sudan, has succeeded in forcing long time dictator president to resign.
    In Cameroon, it can not happen, because the people have themseles, sold their
    country to Paul Biya bi Mvondo. What a shameful act from a people, who lack every
    thing, in the mist of plenty. God, should punish Cameroonians, for being that stupid.
    Shameless idiots.

    • @ Joshua, The Sudanese united as one and marched to oust their dictator. They didn’t kidnap, behead or prevent kids from going to school in the name of fighting for freedom. They are the third to succeed in freeing themselves from their dictator by marching after the Burkinabes and the Algerians did and it just took them a week or two. Your Ambazonia people have been fighting for more than three years without any result. Don’t you think it’s time to drop down your weapons, unite with your brothers and sisters who speak the French man’s language but equally hate Biya and march in Yaounde? It is only through the unity of the people that these brutal dictors supported by Western powers and their military can be ousted. Fighting them with arms will never ever work. They even love that.

  11. Julian Assange, the wikileaks programmer, has been arrested by the Britih police, since
    the host embasy – Equador, can no longer keep him. But he might, as per agreement,
    be sent to another country, wherein, he will not face death penalty.

  12. So in a so called law abiding village that doesn’t harbor ambashitnians ,why is the road blocked by trees ?! These people think they are smart and the army are fools, breaking news there are drones watching those villages the army is well placed to know the ins and outs of those ###########

  13. our ancestors make a terrible mistake to join la republique , all dis bastards from East Cameroon has brought to West cameroon is misery,pain and suffering poverty, discrimination, destruction and death, we shall buy more weapons to fight dis enemies of our population make no mistake dis GoD forsaken union shall be destroyed come rain or Sun GoD willing

  14. ” Marveled, I asked the bishop: “why were the people of Ndop and Jakiri running whenever they sighted our vehicle?” The Bishop responded: “they are afraid of white lorries or vehicles because Cameroonian security forces do use them to attack Amba boys or shoot at boys walking along the road out of fear or suspicions, that any young man or woman dressed like a man is a potential threat to their lives. It is their own preemptive attack or defence, but that has taken the lives of several young men and women”. He added: “sometimes, Security forces do hide in passenger vehicles

  15. Genocide is an act committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. It can include killing or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group. It can also include deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, or imposing measures to prevent births. Genocide can happen during war or peace. If Biya cares,he can kill as many anglophones as he likes,There is no turning back,and he and his gang will end up in ICC for genocide.

  16. 17 July 2018 marked the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression.The crime of aggression was defined as planning or participating in certain forms of use of force (for example, military invasion, occupation or annexation) by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state…Biya and his gang will be charged for aggression.I repeat,whether Biya likes it or not,Ambasonia is out.If he cares,let him continue the killing unarmed innocent civilians.

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