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Amnesty International: 'Documented Unlawful Army Killings'

Between September 2017 and May 2018, at least 44 members of the security forces were killed in attacks at checkpoints, in the streets, or o...

Between September 2017 and May 2018, at least 44 members of the security forces were killed in attacks at checkpoints, in the streets, or on their duty stations in both the North-West and South-West regions.

In one attack, on 1 February 2018, in the locality of Mbingo, North-West region, two gendarmes manning a checkpoint were stabbed to death by a group of young separatists armed with knives and machetes.

Amnesty International has also documented five attacks on traditional chiefs, who separatists accuse of sympathizing with the government.

“The armed separatists repeated targeting of the general population demonstrates a total disregard for human life, and is another example of the threat faced by people in the Anglophone regions,” said Samira Daoud.
Violence in Anglophone Region 

“Authorities must ensure accountability for crimes committed by the security forces as well as by the armed separatists. They must immediately end the use of unlawful, unnecessary and excessive force and ensure that people are protected.”

Cameroon’s military has responded to these protests with arbitrary arrests, torture, unlawful killings and destruction of property.

In one striking incident, satellite images and other photographic evidence obtained by Amnesty International show the complete destruction of the village of Kwakwa, which was burned to the ground by Cameroonian security forces following an operation conducted in December 2017 in connection with the killing of two gendarmes by suspected armed separatists.

In some cases, following these security operations, people were arbitrarily arrested and tortured while detained in illegal detention facilities and in secret. For instance, at least 23 people, including minors, were arrested by the security forces in the village of Dadi on 13 December 2017 and spent three days in incommunicado detention.

They told Amnesty International that during this time security forces tortured them to extract “confessions”, to force them to admit having supported the separatists.

Victims described being blindfolded and severely beaten with various objects including sticks, ropes, wires and guns, as well as being electrocuted and burnt with hot water. Some were beaten until they lost consciousness, and Amnesty International documented that at least one person has died in custody.

One man who was arrested on 13 December 2017 in Dadi gave a harrowing account of the torture he suffered: “They tied our hands behind our backs, gagged us and tied our faces with our towels and shorts, which they tore. They, then made us lie in the water, face down for about 45 minutes.

“During three days, they beat us with shovels, hammers, planks, and cables, kicked us with their boots and poured hot water on us… when I tried to move and shouted, one of them used the cigarette he was smoking to burn me.”

Amnesty International also received information about numerous instances of deaths in custody. In one case, on 3 February 2018, the bodies of four men, who had been arrested in the town of Belo by the security forces the day before, were found at the Bamenda Regional Hospital mortuary, bloodied and with signs of torture.

Amnesty International has also documented unlawful killings, including during three security operations conducted by the army in the villages of Dadi, Kajifu and Bodam (South-West) in December 2017.

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