On Wednesday, within Cameroon’s restive northwest region, armed separatists carried out a public execution of two abducted civilians, whom they had accused of espionage on behalf of the government. This grim incident was confirmed by both a local administrative authority and the separatist group themselves, as reported on Thursday.
Online footage depicting the horrifying incident has been widely disseminated, showcasing two middle-aged individuals seated upon a paved roadway while armed separatists brandish firearms, cautioning any witnesses against potential acts of treachery. Tragically, the footage captures the moment when the separatists proceeded to open fire upon these men.
The video was recorded in the village of Guzang, situated within Cameroon’s English-speaking North West region. This region has been plagued by a separatist conflict that commenced in 2017, driven by grievances regarding perceived marginalization by the predominantly French-speaking government. The separatists in this area are striving to establish an independent state known as Ambazonia.
Lucas Asu, a spokesperson for the separatist group, disclosed that the execution was conducted by the Ambazonian Defense Forces (ADF), the military wing of the movement. The two individuals had been in their custody for more than a month, as they were suspected of collaborating with the government in espionage activities.
Tragically, since the outbreak of conflict in 2017, stemming from the violent suppression of protests, Cameroon’s English-speaking regions have witnessed the loss of over 6,000 lives.
In July, Amnesty International issued a condemnation that encompassed government troops, militias, and separatist factions. They decried a litany of grave human rights violations, including killings, rapes, torture, the destruction of homes, and numerous other abuses occurring within the conflict in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions.