from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE, (CAJ News) – HUMAN rights groups fear the worst for 130 Cameroonian civilians that remain missing following their arrest five years ago by the army on suspicion of belonging to the Boko Haram .
The individuals were arrested in the Far North as the Nigerian terror group launched its first attack on Cameroonian soil.
The boys and men aged between 12 and 60 years old were arrested in the villages of Doublé and Magdémé, which were the epicentre of attacks by the Islamist sect.
Army personnel initially arrested 200 individuals.
After some time denying the arrests, the government in 2016 acknowledged the crackdown.
It disclosed that at least 25 men died in custody on the evening of their arrest.
Identities of the deceased or burial places were not revealed.
The government also acknowledged that 45 other men were taken to and registered at Maroua prison. Three of them died in detention.
“All the others remain unaccounted for,” said a spokesperson of the human rights group, Amnesty International.
The organisation maintained doubts on the whereabouts of those that have not been accounted for.
It demanded that the government of President Paul Biya ensured justice for the victims and their families.
In 2015, Biya dismissed Colonel Charles Zé Onguéné, who headed the anti-terror operation at the time of the arrests.
He was charged with “negligence and breach of custody law.”
– CAJ News