Cameroon: Human Rights Group Demands Government’s Release of About 155 Persons Arrested in Konye
By Synthia Lateu
BUEA, March 23, 2023 – Human rights group, African Conscience North West, Littoral Regions has condemned what it terms illegal arrest and arbitrary detention of about 155 unarmed youths and elderly people in Konye Sub-division, South West Region of Cameroon by members of the country’s Defense and Security forces.
In a publication on March 20, 2023, the human rights groups explain that the arrest was done on March 2, 2023, after the military invaded five villages in the Konye sub-division including Matoh, Kindongi, Mbonge-Batoke, Mboh-Barombi, and Ediki.
“They were immediately taken to the Kumba Company Gendarmerie, where they were initially detained incommunicado for few days, before later on transferred to the Kumba Central Prison where they’re currently detained,” African Conscience North West, Litoral Regions wrote, adding that, the findings corroborated by Human Rights defender Barrister Lyonga Ewule Edward, reveal that the act was carried out on the instruction of the Senior Divisional Officer of Meme Division Ntuo’o Ndong Chamberlain. Pan African Visions cannot independently verify this statement.
The March 20 report adds that 14 of the arrested have been charged with the court procedure of “Flagrante Delicto” after their appearance before the state council and further demands” with firmness from the Cameroon authorities their immediate and unconditional release.”
African Conscience North West, littoral regions regret the arbitrary arrests witnessed in the two English-speaking regions since the start of the armed conflict, recalling the February 12 detention at the Buea Legion Gendarmerie of about 95 persons arrested in Ekona, South West Region and the subsequent release of about 81 following the women’s protest. The right group remarks on the government’s silence about this incident.
The document signed by Executive Director, Amadu Tarnteh also recommends Cameroon government take measures by her international commitments, to end the state agent’s violation of the human rights of North West and South West regions populations.
To end the 6 years of armed conflict that has, according to African Conscience North West, Littoral Regions caused untold hardship, loss of thousands of lives, destruction of dwellings, and involuntary displacement of thousands of persons, the right group urges the Cameroon government to embrace the Canadian led initiative.
Cameroon’s government had in January 2023 rejected the Canadian peace talk stating that it was up to Cameroon to address its problems. This came following a release of Canadian foreign affairs minister Melanie Joly that disclosed Canada’s engagement to facilitate the peace process in the conflict-stroke English regions.