Sixty eight days ago, we woke up to a familiar dose of state sponsored barbarism by the French Cameroun regime in the village of Ngarbuh in Dunga Mantung County. According to the United Nations and Human Rights Watch, twenty three local residents, amongst them fourteen children, eleven girls and nine under the age of five were executed in cold blood. In this massacre, a pregnant woman was executed and another lost her baby at a local hospital. After their brutal and unprovoked killings, French Cameroun military personnel set ablaze nine homes in the village to cover their dreadful crimes. The atrocities of the 14th of February 2020 will never be deleted from our consciousness as a nation.
I come to you today in profound disappointment following the report released yesterday by the regime in Yaoundé into the massacre.As a government, our initial investigation after the attack pointed to French Cameroun’s military. Our judgment was accurate and now we must bring the atrocities of this neo-colonial regime to the consciousness of the world.We must remind ourselves that the regime in Yaoundé initially rejected any role in the massacre. But French Cameroun’s self-confession that ‘17 members of a local vigilante committee’ were working with their soldiers in this atrocity confirms our previous accounts that they have been sponsoring militant groups to terrorise and kill civilians in Southern Cameroons.
The neo-colonial regime in Yaoundé claimed immediately after the massacre that it was an accident after fuel supplies exploded into flames during a gun battle with separatists. They have now contradicted their own version of events. The inclusion of a so-call vigilante committee is a farce and deplorable. For over two years now, we have flawless evidence that the regime in Yaoundé is actively involved in stirring up intercommunity violence in Ambazonia.
The French Cameroun regime has never had an association with truth and honesty and so it claimed that ‘panic-stricken, the three servicemen with the help of some members of the vigilante committee, tried to conceal the facts by causing fires’. Even by their unashamed standards, this statement is an assault on the truthbecause all eyewitnesses confirmed that this was an unprovoked attack on a village in Southern Cameroons.
In March 2018, Mami Sarah Appih, 96 years old was burned alive in her bed in Kwa Kwa village by French Cameroun forces. In May 2018, the Guardian Newspaper in the UK carried an article after painstaking investigation on the burning of villages by French Cameroon forces. In May 2019, French Cameroun forces invaded a peaceful community in Muyuka, Southern Zone and summarily executed scores of people including five months old baby Martha. The burning of villages by forces loyal to Paul Biya’s regime has been plentiful and documented. None of the above atrocities have been investigated.
Yesterday’s statement endorses our reservations that this regime can’t be trusted to investigate its atrocities. On the 18th of February 2020 in Geneva, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated‘We call on the Government to ensure that the security forces abide by applicable international law norms standards during the conduct of their operations’. Yesterday’s report identified that the United Nations was invited to attend but it offered technical support instead. As a people, Southern Cameroonians regret the non-attendance of the United Nations in this investigation.
Since the declaration of war by French Cameroun on the peaceful people of Southern Cameroons, army loyal to the regime in Yaoundé have burned down over three hundred and twenty villages. The village of Ngarbuh in Dunga Mantung County is one of their hundreds of crime scenes. We condemn these acts of genocide strongly. These attacks are now premeditated, predominant, well-planned and they show a flagrant disregard for life by these soldiers. It is particularly disturbing that on paper, French Cameroun is a signatory to many international conventions on human rights but in Southern Cameroons, their military is pursuing and executing acts of genocide with impunity.
After yesterday’s report, the evidence is now overwhelming that this regime and its forces aren’t trustworthy. Yesterday’s statement admits reluctant guilt on the part of French Cameroun’s forces.
We are today calling on the international community through the United Nations to pass an immediate resolution necessitating an Independent Fact Finding Mission to start work in the Southern Cameroons. It’s our paramount belief that only such a mission will establish the facts in Ngarbuh and other scenes of genocides in Southern Cameroons.
We hope that the international community accepts this statement as a genuine attempt from the people of Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) to bring this war to a close and the perpetrators of these crimes to real justice.
Federal Republic of Ambazonia