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Cameroon: HRW calls for prosecution of separatist fighters for abuses against civilians

HRW
HRW raises alarm against voilence in Cameroon

In a report released on 27 June 2022, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses separatist rebels operating in the North-West and South-West regions of committing “serious human rights violations”.

The international NGO therefore believes that all fighters of separatist groups who attack civilians should be prosecuted and sanctioned.

The leaders of the separatist groups should immediately order their fighters to stop their abuses against civilians, and hand over fighters who have committed abuses for prosecution,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, senior researcher on central Africa at HRW.

Armed separatist groups are abducting, terrorising and killing civilians in the Anglophone regions apparently without fear of accountability, either to their own leaders or to Cameroonian judicial authorities,” she said.

The rise of irredentist discourse in the North west and South west has led to armed conflict between separatist groups and law enforcement. Since 2016, security has been precarious in these two English-speaking regions of the country.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) estimates that this crisis has already forced more than one million people to move. Not to mention the many cases of abuse of civilians attributed to separatist fighters.

The report lists these abuses. On 16 May, for example, separatist fighters broke into a residential area of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CBC) in Idenau, in the North West region. They abducted 30 people and raped a young girl of about 10 years old.

Since 2017, armed separatists have abducted hundreds of people, including students, teachers, health personnel, aid workers, clergy and government officials. They have also killed and tortured civilians, and carried out widespread attacks on education,” the report said.



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