from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE, (CAJ News) – THE arrest of eight soldiers for the torture of a young man is a positive step towards accountability following alleged violations by troops in Cameroon.
They have been detained after the emergence of a video showing security forces torturing the individual suspected of ties to an armed separatist group.
The video shows soldiers in Ndu, in the English-speaking north-west region, beating the man with a machete until he loses consciousness.
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) lauded the arrest of the soldiers.
However, there has been widespread impunity for atrocities perpetrated in the Anglophone regions.
This latest incident is part of a catalogue of abuses by government forces as part of their military campaign against separatist groups demanding the independence of the region.
Since 2016, conflict over cultural rights and alleged marginalisation in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions has resulted in at least 3 000 civilians being killed and more than 750 000 displaced.
Clashes between government forces and separatists have resulted in atrocities.
These include extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and torture throughout the north-west and south-west regions.
The military and separatists are accused of grave violations and abuses of human rights.
Juliette Paauwe, GCR2P Senior Research Analyst, said it was significant that a growing number of states were condemning the ongoing violence.
“But now is the time to move from words to action and to use trade agreements and military assistance programs as leverage to ensure that the human rights of all Cameroonians are equally protected,” Paauwe said.
– CAJ News