The Yaoundé military court has set December 17 as the date for the trial of three soldiers accused of the massacre of civilians in Ngarbuh, a locality in the Donga Mantung Division of the North West Region of Cameroon.
“Three soldiers will appear in Yaounde military court for murder, arson and destruction of property, violence against a pregnant woman and disregard for orders,” army spokesman Colonel Cyrille Atonfack told AFP.
On February 14, 2020, Government forces and armed ethnic Fulani killed at least 21 civilians in Ngarbuh, including 13 children and 1 pregnant woman, according to Human Rights Watch.
They also burned five homes, pillaged scores of other properties, and beat residents. Some of the bodies of the victims were found burned inside their homes.
The government initially described the allegations against Cameroonian security forces as “fake”, saying that such accusations were “outrageous and misleading”.
The crimes triggered an international outcry.
Almost two months after the incident, Cameroonian authorities made a u-turn admitting that soldiers killed at least three women and 10 children during an operation against Anglophone separatist forces in February, in the village.
Violence broke out in the English-speaking North West and South West regions of Cameroon in November 2016 when a strike by English-speaking lawyers and teachers against what they described a marginalization by the French-speaking majority in the bilingual country degenerated into calls for secession.
The ongoing conflict has claimed more than 4,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands.