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CONDEMNATION OF THE BRUTAL ATTACK PERPETRATED BY ALLEGED SEPARATISTS GROUPS AGAINST CHILDREN AT THE NKAMBE GRANDSTAND, DONGA MANTUNG DIVISION, NORTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON BY COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS FOR PEACE IN ANGLOPHONE REGIONS AND OTHER AFFECTED REGIONS

STATEMENT N:08/2024

CONDEMNATION OF THE BRUTAL ATTACK PERPETRATED BY ALLEGED SEPARATISTS GROUPS AGAINST CHILDREN AT THE NKAMBE GRANDSTAND, DONGA MANTUNG DIVISION, NORTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON

THE Coalition of Civil Society-Human Rights organizations for Peace in the Anglophone Regions, and other affected Regions (The Coalition), wishes to bring to:

THE ATTENTION OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THE FOLLOWING FACTS:

1) That according to sources from some family of victims and other witnesses, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded at Nkambe Grand Stand on the 11th of February 2024 during 58th National Youth Day celebration, causing the death of 1 student and severely injuring many others.
2) That the student killed on the incident was Cherish Lemnyuy Bonge, a Form Four student of GHS Nyanji Nkambe who were matching at the time the device exploded.
3) That the Coalition documented 54 cases of victims, but the National Radio Station( Crtv) later reported the number increased to about 70 victims and five of them currently at intensive care unit at the Bamenda Regional hospital.
4) That it’s alleged the Improvised Explosive Device was implanted by Armed Separatists in an attempt to disrupt the celebration of the National Youth Day in Nkambe, Donga Mantung Division .
5) That no Separatist group has officially claimed responsibility for the attack, but it should be noted that before the ugly incident, some Separatist leaders had initially warned of imminent attacks in Nkambe, accusing inhabitants of betraying the struggle by not respecting  » Ghost town and Lockdown ».
6) That at the time of writing this report they have not been any Official reaction with regard to the act from the Cameroon Government, though President Paul Biya through his X- account on the 12th of February 2024 condemned the attack describing it as “heinous and cowardly” and attributing same to terrorists. Meanwhile the Governor of the North West region said 4 persons suspected to be responsible for the attack has been arrested by the Security forces.
7) That the right to LIFE, SAFETY and SECURITY of persons guaranteed by core Human Rights instrument have been grossly violated.
8) That targeting students in particular and civilians in general is prohibited whatever be the motive(s) as clearly stated in the Fourth Geneva Convention, International Human rights Laws and other International Humanitarian laws;
9) That the Republic of Cameroon is indeed a State-party to the Fouth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Second Additional Protocol to these Conventions relating to the protection of victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, and must respond clearly and obligatorily to all human rights violations;
10) That the State of Cameroon has the obligation to guarantee the protection of civilians and prevent them from non state agents;
11) That while it is alleged this shameful and unlawful act is attributed to Separatists Armed group, but it is the responsability of the Government of Cameroon to investigate and bring the perpetrators of this act to book, while ensuring that peace and security is restored in the community.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE ABOVE THE COALITION
1) Condemn in STRONGEST TERMS, the attack perpetrated by alleged Separatists at Nkambe Grand Stand that left 1 Students death and more than 50 others severely injured on the 11th of February 2024,
2) Reaffirm our commitment to the Rule of law and a peaceful settlement to this conflict through a deep root cause analysis of the fundamental causes and to reduce the devastating effects of the excesses caused by the poor management of the conflict that has dragged for a long time today .
3) Firmly request the Cameroon Government to open an IMMEDIATE, INDEPENDENT AND IMPARTIAL investigation to ensure perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted accordingly,
4) Call on the Separatists groups to cease from attacking or targeting unarmed or helpless civilians and to seek a peaceful means of resolving their grievances.
5) Pray for the IMMEDIATE and PERMANENT BILATERAL CEASEFIRE through an INCLUSIVE and SINCERE DIALOGUE between the parties and other concerned Stakeholders to seek amicable and durable end to the hostilities in Anglophone Regions;
6) Strongly recommend that the Cameroon Government should scrupulously comply with its International commitments for the effective protection of fundamental human rights, thus violated and abused on daily basis with the cult of impunity in these Regions.
7) Strongly remind the parties (State and Non State armed groups) that they are bound by International Humanitarian Laws and must be responsible to their acts,
8) Call on the Government of Cameroon to step up it’s proximity police activities in line with item 12 of the preamble of the Constitution of Cameroon for the best interest of the entire population of people living everywhere in Cameroon.
9) Urgently request the International Community and other friendly Nations of Cameroon to persuade the parties to SEEK a PEACEFUL MEANS of resolving the conflict through direct negotiations with all the Stakeholders.
Done in Yaounde, this 16th Day of February 2024
For the Coalition
signed:
The National Coalition Coordinator
Mr. NFORMI Willam NGENGE (Volunteers for the Consolidation of National Unity)
The Permanent Secretary of the Coalition
Ms. Cyrille Rolande BECHON (Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme Cameroun)

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