The Centre for Human Rights And Democracy in Africa, CHRDA strongly condemn the killing of unarmed civilians in Muambong-Village, Southwest Region by Cameroon Defense and Security Forces. On Wednesday, 22nd of April 2020, the state Defense and Security Forces conducted an offensive operation in the village of Muambong, situated in Bangem, Kupe-Muaneguba Division of the SW Region.
This operation dubbed the “the maintenance of order operation” saw the gruesome execution of six (6) unarmed young men, four of which are ex-combatants who have laid down their arms since 2019. These boys were executed with the use of a knife, and an ax seized from one of the inhabitants of the village while splitting firewood at about 6 a.m.
To document this case, CHRDA interviewed more than 10 eyewitnesses and victims who gave corroborative testimonies and details of the incidence, amateur images were also analyzed. The soldiers attacked the village at about 2 a.m., to dismantle a separatist camp which existed there before 2019, but the camp has been deserted as most of the fighters had laid down their arms in that village. Failing to meet the armed separatist fighters, they waited till about 6 a.m. before beginning the process of arresting the 6 young men, most of whom were removed from their homes and killed before their relatives, except for one who was captured while returning from hunting overnight in the bush. He was killed and the game he caught taken away.
The names of these boys killed include inter alia: 1. Epie Thiery, 2. Ebong Blaise, 3. Ngole Justice, 4. Nzime Lawrence Mesumbe, 5. Sone Desmond Muabe and 6. Nsime Peter. They were executed and carried on the military truck and dumped along the road as they drove out of the village.
In the same operation, shops were also looted by the military and huge sums of money extorted from the locals. Several persons were also tortured to near-death including an old man in his 60s called Pa Ngime… (Not his real name) and Ngole… (Not his real name) who is currently unconscious at the time of this report.
While talking to CHRDA, an 18-year-old boy, a victim of the attack recounted: “… I am a student of College Bilingue…. because schools were closed as a measure put in place by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I came to the village to help my parents in the farm, that faithful morning, I got up at about 5:00 a.m. and was filing my machete to go to the farm. Suddenly I was surrounded by soldiers with guns. They ask me to raise my hands or they will shoot me. They were about 45 in number as I counted. They beat me up and took me to their truck where I met about 15 other young men arrested. They entered my room and took 21, 000FRS which belong to me, and 45,000FRS which belong to my brother who had already gone to the farm before the military arrived.
They drove around with us in the truck, breaking into people’s homes and beating them up. They also had a list in their hand with the names of people they wanted to kill, as they reached the market square, they brook into people’s shops and stole in one shop, a musical set containing an amplifier, speakers, and woofer. In another shop, they stole 16 crakes of beer and other soft drinks. They also took away 75, 000 FRS from the store, and in one garage, they took away a box of spanners and loaded into their truck. They brought us down from the truck to create a chance to load the items they have stolen. They also kick us with their boats before letting us go.