Mon, 08 Aug 2022

The advocacy group Human Rights Watch is calling on separatist leaders in Cameroon to rein in groups who it says have committed a number of atrocities.

Ilaria Allegrozzi, senior central Africa researcher for HRW, said the groups are operating "with no apparent fear of being held to account by either their own leaders of Cameroonian law enforcement."

HRW said that since January separatist groups have killed at least seven people, raped a girl in her early teens, burned two schools and kidnapped up to 82 people.

Allegrozzi urged the leaders of the armed groups to "immediately instruct their fighters to stop abusing civilians and hand over abusive fighters for prosecution."

Armed groups have been fighting since 2017 to separate western Cameroon, where most people speak English, from the rest of the country and its French-speaking majority.

Government forces have also been accused of human rights violations during the conflict, with abuses that include rape, torture, and killings.

"Cameroon's regional and international partners should intensify calls on the Cameroonian government for accountability, and better protection of civilians," Allegrozzi said.

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