Paris, March 2 UrduPoint | French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the violence in the English-speaking west of Cameroon with the country’s President Paul Biya, his office said Sunday, days after they clashed over the issue.
The two leaders discussed the security situation in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon in a telephone conversation, said a statement from the Elysee Palace.
Separatist rebels have been fighting for independence for the two English-speaking provinces since 2017.
“They agreed on the need for an impartial inquiry in response to the violence committed against the civilian population in the village of Ngarbuh, in the Northwest province,” the statement added.
The talks came a week after Biya responded sharply to remarks that Macron had made to a Cameroonian opposition leader.
On February 22, Macron said he would apply “maximum pressure” on Biya to bring about an end to the “intolerable” violence. At the time, Biya rejected Macron’s remarks.
Since then however, Human Rights Watch has accused government soldiers of having taken part in the killings at Ngarbuh, alongside fighters from the ethnic Fulani group. They say more than 20 civilians died there.
Cameroon has denied involvement, but the United Nations has called for an independent and impartial inquiry into the massacre, whose victims included 15 children, nine of them less than five years old.
More than 3,000 people have died and at least 700,000 have fled their homes. Rights monitors say abuses have been committed by both sides since the separatist conflict began.