The United Nations, UN, has called on the Cameroon Government and non-state actors to respect the rights of children, women, and civilians in the on-going war in the Anglophone Regions.
The statement was made by four Senior UN officials who condemned the killings of 23 people, including children and women on February 14 in Ngarbuh, Donga Matung Division, Cameroon’s Northwest Region.
The condemnation is contained in a press release the four UN officials published on February 21.
The UN representatives are; Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba; Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten; Special Representative on Violence against Children, Najat Maalla M’jid; and Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng.
The press release also condemned extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and property destruction, as well as retaliatory attacks, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual violence, disproportionately affecting women and children in the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, and forcing many to flee their homes.
“Children continue to be particularly affected by the crisis with reports of attacks on schools, extensive school closures in the affected Regions and thousands of children out of school. Information received on the recruitment and use of children by armed actors and the detention of children for their actual or alleged association with armed actors raise further protection concerns” the UN officials said.
“It is urgent to prevent further violence and to protect all women, girls, boys, and men from grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”
The UN officials, while calling for a proper investigation, said: “We urge the Government of Cameroon to ensure full respect for human rights, including the rights of women and children, and to ensure that the humanitarian needs of civilians are met.”
The UN, however, reiterated its support to help the authorities of Cameroon to address the crisis. According to UNICEF, as at last November, more than 855,000 children have remained out of school in Northwest and Southwest Cameroon.