By Amos Fofung
Antonio Gutterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, UN has expressed concerns over the killing of civilians in the Ngarbuh, a tiny locality in Cameroon’s North West Region.
In a message posted February 17, Antonio Gutterres called on the government of Cameroon to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident that caused the lives of over thirty-two civilians among them children and pregnant women, and ensure those responsible are held accountable.
“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over reports about the killing of civilians, including children, in an attack on the village of Ngarbuh in the north-west Region of Cameroon on 14 February. He extends his deepest condolences to the families and calls on the Government of Cameroon to conduct an investigation and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” a section of his statement read.
Reiterating he is ready to work with the government of Cameroon and separatist leaders to proffer a solution to the country’s simmering three-year conflict, the UN scribe once again urged armed actors to refrain from attacking civilians and respect international human rights laws signed and ratified by Cameroon.
“The Secretary-General calls on armed actors to refrain from attacks against civilians and to respect international humanitarian and international human rights law.”
Last Friday, we should recall, pro-government forces stormed the locality of Ngarbuh-Ntumbaw in Ndu sub-division of the North West region in Cameroon in search for separatist fighters who were believed have camp in the rural setting.
The soldiers are reported to have engage in crossfire confrontation with the armed separatist as they tried to flee. While some of the villagers were reportedly shot dead in separate locations in the enclaved village, others, were burnt alive when their homes were set ablaze.
In a communique, the government of Cameroon said all those killed were mistaken for separatist fighters when they open fire to defend themselves against raining bullets. There has been an outcry with many insisting that such brutal attacks and mass murder is not uncommon with the military in Cameroon, referencing the 2018 killings in Santa sub division where over 30 mostly youths were slain allegedly by the same military.