Cameroon: 20 Women, Children Killed in Pre-Dawn Attack by Separatist Rebels

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Separatist rebels have killed nearly 20 people, mostly women and children, in a dawn attack in one of Cameroon’s restive Anglophone regions.

Viang Mekala, the local government official and Manyu Department Prefect, said that this incident happened at around 4:00 a.m. when unidentified gunmen attacked the village of Egbekaw, a neighbourhood in the town of Mamfe.

Mekala added that the rebels used open fire with guns and traditional arms to set houses ablaze, killing women and children and leaving 10 seriously injured, who are now admitted to the hospital.

According to residents, ’’a whole block of 15 houses was set on fire, and 23 people have been removed from the debris, leaving some unrecognisable because of the fire burns.’’

Furthermore, residents expressed their suspicion that the Egbekaw attack was planned to sabotage the November 6 anniversary of Paul Biya’s ascension to the presidency since 1982. Several senior politicians were expected to attend the celebrations, which were scheduled to take place in Mamfe and other centres.

The 90-year-old president Paul Biya and his ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC) faced criticism for their crackdown and national discussions in response.

According to the International Crisis Group, since separatists proclaimed independence in 2017, violence has engulfed Cameroon’s mainly English-speaking northwest and southwest regions, resulting in the loss of over 6,000 lives and forcing over a million people to flee their homes.

In July, Amnesty International reported that security forces, separatist rebels, and ethnic militiamen had committed “atrocities” in the northwest region, including executions, torture, and rape.

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