23, February 2020
The country’s military is currently heading to Ngarbuh, the little village in the Northwest region where over 30 people were slaughtered by the country’s military and militiamen set up by the country’s defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, and territorial administration minister, Paul Atanga Nji.
The international community had called for a partial and thorough investigation, but no international team has been set up to help with the investigations.
On the contrary, the country’s president, Paul Biya, who is under enormous international pressure, has ordered an investigation into the killings although he already knows who committed the crime.
Cameroon Concord News Group’s correspondent in the Northwest regional capital of Bamenda has indicated that there is an unusual troop movement towards Ngarbuh.
This comes a day after the French President, Emmanuel Macron, said that he would mount pressure on President Paul Biya and his fragile and old government for the issue to be investigated.
An anonymous source which contacted Cameroon Concord News Group confirmed in an SMS that there was a lot of pressure in the corridors of power.
The source added that “a Gendarmerie team has been dispatched from Yaounde to Ngarbuh to investigate the Valentine’s Day Massacre in Ngarbuh.”
The Source stressed that “They leave for Ntumbaw on Monday or Tuesday. Part of their mission is to exhume the corpses laid to rest and count them. They have an order that the number of corpses must not be more than seven. Those innocent victims have been laid to rest and are currently resting in peace, but for political reasons, their graves will be desecrated early next week by government forces which want to present the government’s story to the international community.”
The source questioned the objectivity of the process, adding that no truth will emerge from such an investigation, as a thief is being asked to investigate himself.
There will be a lot of cover up, as the government will do all in its powers to hide the truth, another source that elected anonymity said.
While the world looks forward to the truth, many people are sceptical about the government’s sincerity concerning these investigations.
It should be pointed out that ever since information of the massacre emerged on social media, the Yaounde government has offered multiple explanations for the incident.
While the defense minister said those killed by the military were simply collateral damage and that the fire was due to fuel that was stored in those homes, the communication minister, Rene Sadi, came out with his own version that clearly smacked of arrogance, denial and provocation.
He clearly exonerated the military, insulting those who said the military was to blame for the massacre of children and pregnant women.
The sending of Cameroon’s military to the crime site is a good beginning, but the international community must set up a team to support any efforts made by the Yaounde government so that the truth can be known.
It should also be emphasized that there are a few people in the village keeping shell casings of the bullets that were fired. Those people should be contacted by UN experts on the ground in Bamenda.
With ballestic analyses, it will be possible to determine the killers of the innocent citizens in Ngarbuh who had nothing to do with the civil war that is tearing the country apart.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai