According to a report just released by a coalition of 26 Cameroonian NGOs including Mandela Center and New Human Rights-Cameroon, more than 35 civilians (including 7 women and 14 children) were massacred in Ngarbuh by a local militia supervised by Cameroonian soldiers. The mastermind of this attack, according to the 18-page report received by the editor of hurinews.com, is a resident of the Center for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, a structure created by the Cameroonian government in November 2018 to collect separatist fighters who agrees to lay down his arms. Below, the facts as they happened, according to the coalition of NGOs:
On the night of Thursday, February 13, 2020, armed elements belonging to the Cameroonian army, accompanied by local shepherds and other pro-government armed militias, camped in the neighboring villages of Ngar 3 (Chii and Fiiru).
On Friday 14 February 2020, around 3 a.m., while the villagers were sleeping, an attack was launched in the village of Ngar 3 from Fiiru by a joint operation composed of six soldiers, three armed men belonging to ex-combatants of the forces restoration of the virtual state of Ambazonia and many shepherds.
The operation consisted, among other things, of burning and shooting everywhere. According to eyewitnesses and survivors, the attack was led by the veteran who led an Ambazonian armed group to Ngarbuh, the sieur Nfor Marcel called “Bullet”. He ended the war more than a year ago and has joined the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee (CNDDR), created by decree no. 2018/719 of November 30, 2018.
The attack was bloody, no one was spared, some villagers were burned alive and those who could not find shelter were shot, as shown by the bodies of the victims scattered in the bush. Pregnant women and children who escaped gunshots and machete strikes while sheltering in a house were all burned alive.
Some survivors testified that a total of 13 houses, concentrated on tens of meters in radius, were burned down and that many villagers were burned alive (many bodies are also unidentifiable). Several people are missing following this raid.
Of the 35 bodies discovered so far, three (3) were those of pregnant women, and three (3) children belonging to a family of approximately those killed. Among the victims, nine (9) men, seven (7) women and 14 children, three of whom were under the age of three. Several unidentified calcined bodies.
After the massacre, the villagers say they received an alert they said came from the village chief of Ntumbuw (Ngarbuh is a district) who relayed threats from some soldiers, telling them that they had three days (72 hours) to leave the villages. otherwise they would have expected the worst.
After the departure of the soldiers, some villagers helped by some pastors and Ambazonian fighters, buried the victims on Saturday February 15, 2020 in numerous mass graves.
It is possible that the death toll may be increased, as many are still lying in critical conditions in certain hospitals, notably at the Baptiste de Banso hospital (as is the case of a pregnant woman, Mrs. Shuka Ngon , aged 30, operated on immediately after arriving at the hospital after being severely tortured, resulting in the death of the baby she was carrying).
Villagers continue to search for family members whom they have not heard from since the attack. According to reports, certain elements of the army implicated in the attack returned to the scene a few hours later to intimidate and proceed to seize the mobile phones of the inhabitants of the said village. This unintentionally led many residents to take refuge in the bushes and neighboring villages.
48 hours after the massacre, on February 16 at 11 h 29 min on the Facebook page of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program, in particular the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (CNDDR) mentioned that the “Amba want their children die so that they cry for the genocide and that, as far as the Ambazonian fighters continue to exist, all the bodies, including the children, will continue to be targeted ”. On this same page we can also read “As long as
Amba boys exist in your communities, there will be victims, and some of them will be children. This is called collateral damage. AmbaFools (the English-speaking separatists) sit abroad and say, we have to crack eggs to make an omelet. ”
About 72 hours after the massacre, in radio press release N ° 0104 / CRP / MINDEF / 019 of February 17, 2020, signed by Frigate Captain ATONFACK GUEMO, head of the Communication Division, “The Minister Delegate for the Defense Presidency formally denies these false allegations, and specifies, in the light of the methodically and professionally cross-checked information that it
is simply an unfortunate accident, a collateral consequence of the ongoing security operations in the Region “and concluded that the murder of civilians and the destruction of property in Ngarbuh were the result of a military confrontation with separatists, because the army was in the process of dislodging a base of the separatists.