Armed ViolenceNews

Cameroon: Teenage Mother Beheaded, Others Feared Killed In Bloody 48 hours

There has been a bloody start to the week for residents of the English-speaking regions of Cameroon with the killing of a young woman. Families and activists are pushing for urgent peace talks as attacks on civilians continue.

A young woman has been beheaded by fighters from a separatist terror group in Northwest Cameroon, part of a bloody 48 hours in the restive region.

The teenage mother-of-one was taken from her home in Bali Nyonga during the night of Feb 20th.

Images of 18-year-old Samia Ulianda’s body were circulated on social media the next day.

It is suspected that the terrorists believed she was an informant, and many have dubbed the killing “barbaric” on social media.

It has been reported that the father of her child was a fighter, recently killed by the military.

“Black legs”

Elsewhere, fears have been raised for the safety of a group of men captured and beaten by separatists for distributing French beer in the English-speaking Northwest region.

A leader of a separatist terrorist group posted a film of four men accused of transporting bottles made in a brewery in the French speaking part of the country into the Anglophone region, a trade that has been “banned” by the terror groups since 2017.

In the film a man filming says: “Don’t you know this is the end of your story”. The film ends without showing any violence, but the men have clearly been subjected to a beating.

In another incident, three bystanders were killed and dozens more wounded in Kombone in the Southwest region on Feb 21st.

Late in the evening several people were rushed to the Kumba Regional Hospital Annex.

A source said separatist fighters were on a “control mission” -manning a checkpoint, in front of a popular palm wine shop.  

They fired shots and attracted a military patrol who stormed the area. An exchange of gunfire followed. 

Two civilians and one separatist fighter were killed instantly. 

From a video shared after the shootings, the voices of women could be heard blaming separatist fighters for the death of the two civilians.

Since 2017, separatist fighters have been torturing and killing anyone they suspect is leaking information on them, to the military or violating their laws. 

They are instantly tagged “black legs”. 

Banned Products

In 2017, Separatists  banned the sale of drinks produced by French-owned  brewery company, Brasseries du Cameroun. 

They warned against the distribution of the company’s drinks within the two English-speaking regions. However, some dealers who make a living out of the sale of these products continued distributing the drinks in complicity with some separatist fighters. 

A video posted by a separatist activist  Capo Daniel on his Facebook page on Tuesday shows four local distributors, intercepted by separatist fighters in Ntankah, a small community in the Northwest. 

The men are  seated on the ground, showing signs of torture. The separatist fighter talking on the video doesn’t show his face as he questions them in pidgin-English.

The spokesperson of the beer sellers says he usually transports these drinks from Bamenda to Wum, all communities in the Northwest of the country. He explained how he usually bribes a certain Pa Black, a separatist fighter leading troops in Bafut, another village on the Bamenda-Wum road. 

“Before then, were you not told that we don’t want Brasseries in our country? Are you not aware, since this war started, haven’t you heard that cars were burnt down and people were killed due to transacting Brasseries products?”.

He further forced his culprits to reveal those who were behind the business chain, and informed them they are about to be killed.  

“Do you know your own story has ended? They will see this video and will know that when we next catch them, they will go the same way”. 

The victims are yet to be identified. 

In a report published June 2022, Human Rights Watch called on the international community to ensure separatist fighters are prosecuted and sanctioned for crimes against civilians. 

The organisation has also expressed dismay at Cameroon’s slow handling of cases of abuse perpetrated by the country’s military in the ongoing social-political crisis. 

Civil society actors have been calling for urgent peace actions to stop the war that has seen over 700,000 internally displaced persons and caused at least 2.2 million people in humanitarian need.

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