Amnesty International on Tuesday said armed separatists in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have stabbed to death and shot military personnel, burned down schools and attacked teachers.
The organization also said security forces have tortured people, fired on crowds and destroyed villages, in a spiral of violence that keeps getting more deadly.
These revelations are contained in a new report on Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis, titled ‘’ A turn for the worse: violence and human rights violations in Anglophone Cameroon’.
Amnesty International said the report is based on in-dept interviews with over 150 victims and eyewitnesses as well as material evidence.
“People in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions are in the grip of a deadly cycle of violence. Security forces have indiscriminately killed, arrested and tortured people during military operations which have also displaced thousands of civilians. Their heavy-handed response will do nothing to calm the violence – in fact it is likely to further alienate Anglophone communities and fuel further unrest,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International Deputy Director for West and Central Africa.
“For their part, armed separatists have killed dozens of members of the security forces. They also carried out attacks designed to strike fear among the population, going as far as burning down schools and targeting teachers who did not enforce the boycott”, she added.
In late May, the US ambassador to Cameroon denounced “targeted assassinations” by government forces and “killings of gendarmes” committed by separatists.
In February, the European Union called on the army to “proportionate use of force”.
The authorities in Yaoundé have repeatedly denied.