Apr 2020

1 – The indifference of Mr. Paul BIYA and the pitiful admission of his regime

The “audience” of April 16, 2020 granted  to the French Ambassador to Cameroon by the Presidency of the Republic was supposed to mark the return of Paul Biya on the public stage. This audience took place after we had seized the Bureau of the National Assembly in view of triggering the procedure leading to the establishment of a power vacancy at the Presidency of the Republic by the Constitutional Council.

On April 21 a press release was issued by the Minister of State, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Presidency of the Republic, on the massacres perpetrated in Ngarbuh, on February 14, 2020. Following this tragic event, it must be remembered, the de facto President did not think he had to issue a statement, when many voices were raised in our country and around the world to express their deep indignation.

While the publication of the results of the national investigation , which he had himself ordered, obviously to evade international pressure, gave him the opportunity to make his voice heard on these horrors, Mr. Paul BIYA preferred, from the height of his sufficiency and his usual contempt for Cameroonians and their suffering, to task his Secretary General to indulge in the pitiful admission of the responsibility of the regime in these massacres. The government therefore finally admits it, always under external pressure : it was many elements of the Cameroonian defence forces who massacred Cameroonians, in this case harmless civilians, including babies and pregnant women. All sources of good faith had already established this responsibility.

2- Fundamental questions remaining after the April 21, 2020 press release

In spite of this forced confession, the release leaves many questions unanswered:

  1. How many people in total were massacred on February 14, 2020?
  1. How many houses were burned?
  2. Who are those in the army, the institutions of the State, the administration , within civil society , who over the years ordered, supervised, covered and/or attempted to manipulate national and international opinion?
  3. What has become of all those detained arbitrarily and tortured by security services on the pretext that they collaborated with human rights organizations which unveiled the crimes and the involvement of the army? (For example, the person who had been arrested, tortured and accused of sending images of the massacres to the organization Human Rights Watch)?
  4. Who finances and maintains the militiamen and auxiliaries recruited by the Ngarbuh Commando?
  5. The Ngarbuh massacres have given rise to serious religious and tribal tensions between the Fulani populations and other communities in the area. Who used the Fulani community and for what purposes? What is being put in place for the reconciliation of the Fulani and the other communities concerned?

3- What about other cases of killings or massacres of civilians in the English-speaking Regions?

Beyond these fundamental issues carefully avoided in the press release of April 21, the confession squeezed out of the regime on the responsibility of the Army and the regime in the Ngarbuh massacres brings to light other cases of civilians massacred in the armed conflict that has ravaged the English-speaking Regions of our country for almost four years.

Among these cases we can cite those of :

  1. Ofen-Tben (Batibo);
  2. Menka-Pnyin (Santa);
  3. Bakweri Town (Buea);
  4. Buea Town, (Buea);
  5. Martha (Muyuka);
  6. Ekona;
  7. Munyenge;
  8. Kwa-Kwa;
  9. Sam Soya (Bello);
  10. Weh;
  11. Esu;
  12. Wum.

4- The press release of April 21, 2020 : A manoeuvre to conceal the identity of the real military and political leaders behind the Ngarbuh massacres

With all these persisting unanswered questions over the Ngarbuh massacres and given the regime’s many efforts to conceal the truth, including the use of intimidation and terror, it is evident that the conclusions that enabled the drafting of the April 21, 2020 press release  are truncated. The regime, no doubt ill-advised, chose to serve the world a half-truth in the hope of relieving the pressure and continuing its dirty war.

Under these conditions, the CRM reiterates its request of February 26, 2020, notably on the opening of an international investigation into the Ngarbuh massacres as well as all other massacres of civilians, both in the ongoing armed conflict in the two English-speaking regions and in the Far North Region, where the army is fighting the extremist sect Boko Haram.

Yaounde on April 23, 2020
Pr. Maurice KAMTO
President Elect