By Boris Esono Nwenfor
A four month old child has been shot dead by men in uniform reported to be that of Cameroon’s security forces. The unfortunate incident took place in Muyuka, South West Region of Cameroon, as the country celebrated 20th May which is a national day celebration in Cameroon.
In a video circulating online, the mother can be seen wailing the lost of her 4 month old child. She narrated the story thus “they forced their way into the house…shot my baby who was sleeping while I was in the kitchen, although I begged them not to… The military did that”. “I place a curse on them for doing this to my child…these tears I shed will never go in vain” she added in tears.
The killing has received wide spread condemnation from politicians, civil society organizations and from the population. According to Kah Walla “it is beyond all comprehension: A baby? A baby?” She said while asking the question “what possible threat could the baby have posed? Under what circumstances does a person, even in the height of madness, shoot a baby? It is too much”.
Barrister Akere Muna, former Presidential Candidate was also very perplex with the shooting of the baby. He tweeted “can the shooting of a 4 month old baby make any sense? That just happened some hours ago in Muyuka. That is what we have become, a country where some lives do not matter. A country in which a baby receives capital punishment for a live it still has to live. Barbaric!”
Human Rights watch in a recent report says some 170 civilians have been killed in the crisis since October. They added that government forces have killed scores of civilians, used indiscriminate force and torched hundreds of homes over the past six months. The government of Cameroon has however been swift in countering the report. Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi said “…security forces are within their sovereign role that of ensuring the protection of the Nation and the population against outlaws who mercilessly kill and sow terror and despair”.
In late 2017, after a year of protest, separatist forces took up arms against Yaounde. Since then, the regions have been the scene of an armed conflict that sees no sign of concluding anytime soon. In its recent publication, Human Rights Watch said: “Gendarmes and other security forces at the State Secretariat of Defense (SED) used severe beatings and near-drowning to obtain confessions. The NGO also cited cases of torture inflicted by separatist forces on civilians.