from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE, (CAJ News )– CAMEROON has been urged to investigate the killing of an eight-year-old schoolgirl by armed forces during protests in English-speaking communities in the northwest.
These communities are protesting against alleged marginalisation by the government dominated by French-speaking officials.
The girl, named Brandy Tataw, was shot dead in Bamenda on November 12.
She was reportedly caught in the crossfire, coming from school.
Soldiers, shooting live rounds from armoured vehicles, injured at least seven men.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is demanding that authorities ensure that those responsible for the killing of Tataw and for excessive use of force against protesters are held accountable.
“The army’s use of live ammunition on people protesting the death of a child raises a disturbing specter of a trigger-happy security force,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, senior Africa researcher at HRW.
“The authorities have an obligation to promptly investigate the use of force by soldiers during protests, and to send a strong message to their security forces that abuses will not go unpunished.”
The American, British, Canadian and Swiss ambassadors in Cameroon have condemned attacks against civilians in the Anglophone regions, particularly on children and students.
English communities are 20 percent of Cameroon’s population of 27 million people.
Since 2016, more than 450 000 people have fled their homes because of the ethnic crisis.
The conflict indirectly led to an upsurge in attacks by neighbouring Nigeria’s Boko Haram terror group.
This is because the Cameroonian military largely withdrew from the north to focus on fighting the separatists.
– CAJ News