Witnesses in the town of Kunbo in northwest Cameroon accused the military of killing several civilians in a retaliatory attack on separatists on Monday. The Cameroonian military denied that civilians were killed. Before the conflict, seven soldiers’ armored vehicles crashed into an improvised explosive device and died. The Cameroon Presbyterian Church has called for an independent investigation into reports of civilian deaths.
The Cameroonian military said on Monday that seven of its soldiers were killed when their armored vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in the western village of Kikaikelahki.
These troops are part of a military convoy sent to fight the separatists around the town of Kunbo.
The military said it has deployed other troops to find and kill the separatists who placed explosive devices.
Deben Tchoffo, the governor of Northwest Cameroon, discovered Kunbo there. He said the troops were also ordered to search and seize weapons illegally used by separatists.
“The circulation of these weapons is prohibited by the government. We instruct the administration and security forces to recycle all guns and ammunition circulating in the area. Many guns have been confiscated and are still in administrative and security services. This process is ongoing.”
The Cameroonian military stated that in retaliation after seven soldiers were killed, the government killed 13 soldiers.
Philip Ndongwe is a teacher in Kunbo. He said one of the victims was a popular motorcycle taxi driver. He said the people who attacked the house where they ran for safety were dressed in Cameroonian military uniforms.
“They actually jumped into the campus and shot in the air. You can see the panic. There is nothing I can do except struggling to save myself. I first hid myself under the table. It was too painful.”
On Monday, the Catholic Church in Kunbo condemned its alleged killing of civilians and blamed the violence on combatants and government forces.
The host of the Cameroon Presbyterian Church, Fonki Samuel Forba, said that an independent investigation should be conducted to determine whether the people who killed civilians were fighters or government forces.
“This country should cease fire. Guns cannot solve this problem. Unless our family sits down and talks about our problems, we will not solve these problems. We are all waiting. We can only get it after a reliable organization investigates the situation. true story. The culprit will be brought to justice. “
The military denied involvement in the killing of civilians and insisted that all victims were fighters. The military says its troops are professional.
Violence broke out in the English-speaking area of Cameroon in 2016, when teachers and lawyers protested the so-called discrimination by the French majority.
The government responded with repression, triggering an armed movement for an independent English-speaking country.