Armed ViolenceNews

Cameroon Govt Admits Troops Tortured Man To Near-Death

The Cameroon government has owned up to an allegation that its troops tortured a yet-to-be-identified man to near-death

For the second time in one year, the Cameroon government issued a rare confession that its security forces were responsible for torturing to near-death of one man in Ndu, Northwest Region of the country.

Cyrille Serge Atonfack Guemo, a Navy Captain and the country’s Army spokesperson, in a statement on Monday, recognised “the implication of certain elements of the army in an act of torture of a presumed ‘ambazonian’ in the locality of Ndu, in the Northwest region, one of the regions gripped by the secessionist crisis.”

The army spokesperson revealed that “On Saturday 13, Feb. 2021, an amateur video appeared on the web showing a man being interrogated then brutalised before being beaten up by elements of the forces of defence and security.”

The scene took place on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in the locality of Ndu, Donga Mantung Division, Northwest region. 

He said investigations revealed the identity of the victim, who he said was suspected to be a local terrorist.

“The first investigations carried out have led to the identification of the victim called Jean Fai Fungong, suspected to be a local terrorist and criminal relay,” the army spokesperson said.” 

“It was also easy for the military command to identify the elements of the defence and security forces compromised in this unacceptable act. For now, they are two gendarmes, two soldiers and four policemen.”

“These identified elements were immediately arrested and taken to the Territorial Brigade of the Gendarmerie in Ndu on instructions of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defense,” the statement added. 

“Disciplinary, administrative and judicial investigations prescribed by the High Command and opened by the local administrative authorities and the forces of defence and security would permit the discovery of the precise outlines of this intolerable behaviour, which is against the protection of human rights, the cardinal principles to which elements of the forces of defence and security are firmly bound.” 

One year ago on Feb. 14, 2020, in Ngarbuh, Northwest region, the army massacred 22 civilians including women and children.

The army initially strongly rejected responsibility for the massacres but after local and international pressure by human rights organisations, the government finally admitted that its soldiers were responsible for the atrocities.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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