Gov’t Takes Blames For Ngarbuh Massacre; What Next?

Cameroonian soldiers assisting local communities during a burial (image-Mimi Mefo)

The government of Cameroon has owned up to the fact that the military actually carried out the killing of innocent civilians including children and pregnant women in Ngarbuh on February 14.  In a contemptible manner it said three soldiers and members of a vigilante group were behind the killings. The account sounds convincing if one follows the narrative put forward. But I can imagine how gruesome it could have been when these men stride their way into the village like marauding conquerors in the 18th century speaking strange tongues with a pinch of genocide in mind. I am definitely certain even when they were about to be slaughtered they never understood what ever instructions they gave them, including the vigilante accomplice.

The gravity of the act pricked the conscience of the world and subsequently bore pressure whose fruits have led to this unwilling acceptance by the authorities. Yes the president has announced the remains of the unfortunate victims will be exhumed and a proper burial given them with state honours.

But the questions I ask are; what about the perpetrators and the chain of command that tried so desperately to cover it up?, Why do we always deny every report, findings or pointing fingers of abuse of power?, why don’t we always make public the punishment mitted out on such perpetrators of human right violations?, are many of such incidents going unreported? And so on.

The answers to some of these questions we may never know, but that shouldn’t stop us from asking. I know the painful images of a woman with a child on her back and another held by the hand dragged like lambs to be killed execution style in the Far North,  girls asked to swim in mud in Bali, or hard earned houses burned down to ashes in several villages in the Southwest and Northwest regions. Without condemnation, punishment and rapprochement these atrocities will continue unabated in this struggled that has become senseless.

I think it will be very proper and soothing to the conscience of all and in particularly relations and close ones of all those killed for justice to be delivered. I think if we’re sincere about finding a solution to the bigger problem here, applying the law and showing to all that justice has taken it course is imperative. Even if the process is not made public, the end result should, this will have a multifarious effect. One, justice will have been served. Secondly it will deter others from doing same, thirdly it will healed wounded hearts. It will also help cleanse the country’s image from its chronic “denial syndrome” and lent some credibility to it. Above all, it’s simply the right thing to do.

By Anye Nde.

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