By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Saturday, May 30, 2020.
A rights group said, Friday, May 29, 2020, that Cameroon contravened its own constitution and all International Human Rights instruments when its military killed four unarmed civilians in Buea, capital of its restive South West Region. It calls it “a blatant violation of human rights.”
“The extrajudicial executions go in sharp contrast to the fundamental rights protected by the constitution of Cameroon and all International Human Rights instruments as well as the Criminal Procedure Code,” Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) said in a statement.
At least four (4) unarmed young men were killed, Thursday, May 28, 2020, when elements of the regular Cameroon army raided an uncompleted building around Upper Bundouma, a neighborhood in Buea, National Telegraph can confirm.
“The incident took place in an uncompleted building, where the victims were caught smoking weed. Voices were heard of young men crying under pain of beatings for close to 45 minutes before gunshots…,” the rights group also confirmed.
The statement adds that people deserve the right to life, right to fair hearing as well the as the presumption of innocence when caught “fragrante delicto,” the legal term for “caught red-handed.”
Access to the scene was restricted for the locals, but a few local journalists who visited the building said no weapons were found on victims, adding that the building appeared to be a host for marijuana consumers.
Corpses of all four victims have been deposited in the city’s government-run morgue. One person who survived the shooting was whisked off by the military to an undisclosed destination, said CHRDA.
The not-for-profit also said Cameroonian soldiers have committed arbitrary executions more than once in the city within the context of the Anglophone crisis.
It regrets that none of these cases has ever been investigated despite calls from local and international human rights defenders.
It recounted a Monday, July 30, 2018 incident where five (5) young men in the locality of Bakweri Town, were massacred under similar circumstances.
It also said on Thursday, September 27, 2018, the military targeted and killed seven (7) identified unarmed civilians in a compound at Ikundi Street in Babuti neighborhood of Buea Town.
CHRDA calls on the government of Cameroon to investigate these targeted killings committed by its Defense and Security Forces and put to rest such impunity against unarmed civilians.
The Central African country of Cameroon has been battling to contain an armed conflict in its two Anglophone regions of the North West and South West now in its third year where rebels are battling to establish the new state of Ambazonia.
At least, 14000 people have so far been killed in battles and military raids with over 400 villages burnt down. Thousands are held across various detention facilities. Over two million remain displaced as refugees and IDPs since the beginning of the crisis in 2016.
The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa is a human rights organization documenting human rights violations and promoting human rights improvements in Africa, with a particular focus on Cameroon, where the organization started.