Cameroon: At least 20 killed in attack by English-speaking separatists

About twenty people, including women and children, died on Monday in an attack on a village by English-speaking separatists in western Cameroon, where these rebels and the army have been fighting for seven years, they security officials and local authorities tell AFP.

The tragedy happened at night in Egbekaw village (South West Region). “The attack has left about twenty dead, men, women and children, and ten seriously injured are in hospital,” said a senior official in the region’s administration, on condition of anonymity.

The attack and the provisional death toll were confirmed by a law enforcement official and an official from a government agency.

Since late 2016, a deadly conflict has pitted pro-independence armed groups and security forces, each accused of crimes against civilians by international NGOs and the UN, in the mainly minority-populated northwest and southwest regions english speaking of this predominantly French-speaking Central African country.

The rebels “attacked the civilian populations of Egbekaw and the provisional toll is 23 dead and about fifteen houses burned,” a local gendarmerie officer who also requested anonymity told AFP by phone.

A senior official of the Cameroon Human Rights Commission (CDHC) confirmed the attack and cited a provisional death toll of 15. “But this figure can change,” the member of this governing body assured AFP.

In Cameroon, information about attacks or actions involving law enforcement is always officially communicated several hours or even days later and officials are not authorized to talk about it until an official statement has been released.