Cameroon’s military has dismissed reports of alleged killing of civilians in Ekuru and Bafanji, two localities in the crisis-hit North West region of the country recently.
In a statement Thursday June 10, army spokesman, Captain Cyrille Serge Atonfack says the images that circulated on social media on June 1 and 6, displaying an alleged massacres of civilians in the localities of Ekuru in Donga Mantung and Bafanji in Ngoketunjia respectively and attributed to soldiers is nothing but a “hoax and an absolute hoax”
The army spokesperson admits there was a confrontation between defense forces and separatist fighters in the aforementioned localities in what he called a firm ad energetic retaliation to hostilities launched by the latter but nothing to do with a massacre of civilians as demonstrated in the viral videos.
According to the statement, on that faithful Tuesday June 1, security elements of Nkambe on a reconnaissance patrol came across a terrorist training camp around the Ekuru village.
Having noticed them, the “rebels” are said to have engaged hostilities resulting to a violent clash between both camps. “The report of the violent clash indicates 4 terrorists neutralized, others on the run and several war weapons, accessories and ammunitions recovered…” The statement partly reads.
As for Bafanji, Captain Cyrille Atonfack claims that on June 5, a detachment of defense forces acting on information from local population was tasked to stop the actions of a small group of bandits who had organized a forced fundraising to purchase weapons and ammunitions while simultaneously forcing new recruits to enlist.
They too are said to have opened fire on the soldiers when they noticed them before running to the bush. Five separatist were neutralized, three injured are under arrest, ammunitions and weapons recovered.
Such outings by the Army spokesperson have become recurrent as the crisis persists in the English-speaking regions of the country.
Over three thousand people are said to have died meanwhile hundreds of thousands have displaced due to the escalating crisis.