Attack in north-west Cameroon kills 22 civilians

A village in Anglophone region in Cameroon. A village in Anglophone region in Cameroon. UNOCHA/Giles Clarke

18 February 2020

22 civilians died as a result of an attack by armed men in Ntumbo, a village in northwestern Cameroon

On 14 February 2020, a village in north-west Cameroon was attacked by a group of armed men. An UN official reported that the Friday attack left 22 people killed, with at least 14 children among the dead. According to the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, the victims also included two pregnant women.

Witnesses reported that the village was attacked by 40 armed men who opened fire and burned houses. Local media reported that several victims were burned alive. At the moment, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The violence in the Anglophone regions emerged in 2017 when the separatists declared independence of a new state called “Ambazonia” to protest against the government led by French speakers. This is the latest deadly incident of this ongoing crisis that has affected Cameroon for the past 3 years.  According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), “more than 679,000 people are currently internally displaced in Cameroon north-west region” because of conflicts and clashes between defence forces and separatist groups.

UN Human Rights Office calls on the Cameroon’s government to seek solutions to protect the rights of people affected by the conflict. An UN spokesperson for the Secretary General, released a statement saying that Antonio Guterres is “deeply concerned” about the killing of civilians. It continues: “The Secretary-General calls on armed actors to refrain from attacks against civilians and to respect international humanitarian and international human rights law”.


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Author: Silvia Luminati; Editor: Aleksandra Krol

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