Home » Anglophone Crisis: CHRDA Makes Fresh Call For Military, Separatists To Respect Civilians’ Rights

Anglophone Crisis: CHRDA Makes Fresh Call For Military, Separatists To Respect Civilians’ Rights

by Atlantic Chronicles

CHRDA’S Founder, Barrister Agbor Balla, says the civilian population should be protected

By Hope Nda

The government and Ambazonia separatists are under fresh pressure to respect the rights of civilians caught in the ongoing crisis in the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon.

The call came from the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy for Africa (CHRDA), an organisation that has been monitoring and reporting human rights issues in Cameroon for years now.

At a press conference in Buea on Wednesday, February 28, the organisation revealed several human rights abuses committed by both the Cameroon military and separatist fighters in 2023.

Among them were at least 300 civilian deaths, 100 days of separatist lockdowns, over 200 cases of kidnapping and at least 150 incidents of arson attacks.

CHRDA’s founder and Director, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho (also called Agbor Balla), said the armed conflict does not seem to be ending, contrary to incessant claims by government officials about normalcy in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

“It clearly shows that there’s no much reduction in violence. It’s true that the pendulum is swinging more in favour of the non-state armed groups, committing more atrocities than the state of Cameroon, but it doesn’t change the fact that the civilian population is at the core of this conflict; they are the victims.

“And as we normally see in Africa, that when two elephants fight it is the grass or the turf that suffers. The civilian population are the ones who are suffering,” said Barrister Agbor Balla.

CHRDA’S 2023 situation report acknowledges an upsurge in violent incidents in the Anglophone Regions after January 24, 2023, when the government backed out of a proposed Canadian peace initiative to the crisis.

The Minister of Communication announced that the government “has not entrusted any foreign country or external entity with any role of mediator or facilitator to settle the crisis”. This dampened hopes of a possible peaceful settlement of the crisis that has claimed over 6,000 lives since 2016.

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