29, February 2020
As the international community continues to condemn the killings in Ngarbuh in the Northwest region of Cameroon, the country’s Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji, is once more doing what he knows how to do best – doing the dirty job of the Yaoundé government.
The Territorial Administration Minister, an ex-convict and a conman, has been holding a series of meetings with the survivors of the Ngarbuh attack behind closed doors.
The first of those meetings was held on Friday, February 28, 2020, in Ayaba Hotel in the Northwest region’s capital, Bamenda, with the objective of preparing the victims and survivors of the gruesome and brutal attack for them to testify that those who murdered their family members were armed non-state actors and that not more than five persons were killed during the attack which the country’s defense minister said was a military operation that had gone wrong and that those who were killed were ‘simply’ collateral damage.
On Friday, some Ngarbuh residents who had been transported in a military truck to Bamenda were received by Paul Atanga Nji, one of the brains behind many of the killings in the Northwest region, in Ayaba Hotel.
It should be recalled that a few days ago, a contingent of the country’s military had been deployed to Ngarbuh in an operation that is raising more questions.
Sources close to the Northwest Governor’s Office have revealed that the heavy military presence in the village is part of the government’s attempt to deter international NGOs from obtaining information from the locals on the February 14, 2020, massacre.
Observers hold that the military’s presence is an attempt to push the government’s narrative which holds that only five people had been killed during the government’s punitive expedition in Ngarbuh.
Meanwhile, military sources have reliably informed Cameroon Concord News Group that army soldiers sent by the beleaguered Yaounde government on an appeasement mission through humanitarian action in the village had succeeded to lure some Ngarbuh residents whose houses had been torched during the February 14, 2020, government punitive raid.
These survivors had been transported to Bamenda for them to benefit from government assistance and to memorize the government’s version of the events so that they can help to sell the government fabricated narrative that is clearly at variance with the reality on the ground.
Mr. Paul Atanga Nji has been holding close door sessions with the survivors at the Governor’s Office, promising them more government assistance and the rebuilding of their homes if they played ball with the corrupt government.
The Ngarbuh residents who are being corrupted by Paul Atanga Nji through a carefully planned scheme, have already testified before the commission set up by the country’s president, Paul Biya, to investigate the Feb 14 massacre that has gone a long way in ruining relations between France and Cameroon.
The public has already rejected the idea of a government sponsored investigation as it sounds like a culpable thief is seeking to cleanse his name than a true and sincere effort made to establish the truth and to bring those guilty of the heinous crime to justice.
It should be remembered that the country’s defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, had reluctantly admitted the government’s role in the murdering of children and pregnant women in Ngarbuh.
Also, the country’s Communications Minister, Rene Sadi (Sardine), has continued to condemn the international community for criticizing the government about the Ngarbuh massacre.
Rene Sadi’s version of events contradicts not only Joseph Beti Assomo’s version, it is also at variance with reports released by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the global human rights watchdog that went to Ngarbuh and interviewed survivors and their families.
By Rita Akana in Bamenda