Human Right Watch has accused Government security forces and armed ethnic Fulani of deliberately killing at least twenty-one civilians including thirteen children and one pregnant woman in Ngarbuh, Donga Mantung Division of the North West region of Cameroon on February 14, 2020.
According to the most recent report from the International human right body, the incident happened a day after Government security forces and armed Fulani stormed the Ngarbuh village.
“Witnesses said that between 10 and 15 soldiers, including members of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, the elite unit of the Cameroonian army, and at least 30 armed Fulani first entered Ngarbuh 1 at about 11 p.m. on February 13, looting scores of homes…” The report partly reads.
“Some of these forces then continued to the Ngarbuh 2 neighborhood, looting homes and beating civilians. At around 5 a.m. on February 14, a group of soldiers and armed Fulani attacked the Ngarbuh 3 neighborhood, killing 21 civilians in four homes, then burning the houses.” It further indicates.
According to the report, witnesses in the region disclosed there were no confrontations between separatists and security forces as alleged by the Government.
It says the soldiers deliberately perpetrated the killings after accusing the population of hosting separatists.
“Residents said the attack was to punish civilians suspected of harbouring separatist fighters. Twelve witnesses said that, after the killings, the military addressed residents in Ngarbuh 2, warning that their village would be destroyed if they continued to shelter separatists…”
After the widely condemned incident, the Government of Cameroon issued a communique indicating only five people died following an “unfortunate incident” that happened during a reconnaissance operation of security forces.