The Cameroon Resident Coordinator of United Nations’ activities, Allegra Baiocchi, has lashed out on activities of Non-State Armed Groups, Ambazonia fighters, accusing them of constant kidnapping of humanitarian workers, mounting roadblocks and declaring lockdowns, thus paralysing aid relief distribution.
“I am particularly troubled by the increasingly widespread practice by non-state armed groups of setting up illegal checkpoints along main supply routes and abducting aid workers. Over the past two months, we have seen a significant increase in attacks with six aid agencies reporting having had their workers kidnapped or illegally detained in life-threatening incidents.
The aggressive reinforcing of “ghost town” days, the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in heavily frequented areas or the closure of inter-city transport for several days, have further constrained the ability of humanitarian organizations to operate, with dire consequences for the population they seek to support,” she said in a statement.
In the same release, the Resident Coordinator also said government forces have on several occasions held hostage protected materials delaying aid relief processes, “Cameroon security forces have also reportedly delayed the movement of humanitarian cargo and aid delivery trucks and detained protective equipment needed to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers.”
Ms. Allegra said at this trying COVID-19 period, the best solution is a ceasefire in Cameroon.
“This recent increase of attacks is even more troubling as it comes at a time when our efforts are focused on the scale-up required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, I reiterate the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire. It is the time to choose humanity and to enable all efforts aimed at bringing hope and support to those who continue to be affected by violence and insecurity and need urgent life-saving assistance.”