World, Africa

UN chief concerned over persistent violence in Cameroon

Antonio Guterres says civilians in Central African country continue to pay terrible price

Rodrigue Forku   | 15.01.2021
UN chief concerned over persistent violence in Cameroon

YAOUNDE, Cameroon

The UN chief is concerned about persistent violence in Cameroon's North-West and South-West regions, in which civilians continue to pay a terrible price, said a UN spokesman on Friday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman told reporters he has taken note "of the willingness of the government of Cameroon to launch an investigation into the 10 January incident in Mautu (South-West Region) that reportedly left at least 10 civilians dead."

Earlier this week, the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) accused the Cameroonian military of killing at least eight civilians in the village of Mautu in the South West region.

Cameroon’s Defense Ministry denied the allegations but admitted having launched an operation in the area.

It said a few terrorists were neutralized, while others were wounded. Arms and ammunition were also recovered in the operation, it added.

Guterres also condemned an attack on the convoy of the prefect of the department of Momo last week that led to the death of several members of the armed forces and a journalist.

He extended "his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded."

The situation in the Central African country's North-West and South-West – both English-speaking regions – has worsened in recent months, with continued violent attacks on schools and children.

The Central African country has been marred by protests and violence since 2016, with residents in English-speaking regions contending they have been marginalized for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.

They are calling for independence or a return to a federal state.

Violence in the Anglophone regions in the last three years has claimed an estimated 3,000 lives and caused the displacement of more than 730,000 civilians, according to Human Rights Watch.

In June 2020, the Norwegian Refugee Council declared the conflict in Cameroon as the most neglected crisis on the planet for a second year running.

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