Human Rights Watch (HRW) says it has gathered evidence of a revenge attack nearly a year ago by Cameroonian soldiers on a village where they raped at least 20 women.
The raid on Ebam in the Anglophone South-West region, an area where separatists are fighting for an independent state of Ambazonia, was one of the worst atrocities carried out by Cameroon’s army in recent years, the rights organisation said.
“One year on, survivors of the Ebam attack are desperate for justice and reparations, and they live with the disturbing knowledge that those who abused them are walking free and have faced no consequences,” said HRW’s Ida Sawy’er in a statement.
A number of soldiers rounded up men, while others raped women, including four with disabilities. Dozens of men were detained and severely beaten and a 34-year-old man was also killed by soldiers in a forest by the village, the rights group said.
“It was dark, and I was alone. They searched the house and stole my phone and money. One of them abused me. He said: ‘If you don’t have sex with me, I will kill you! », said one of the victims.
« We have better things to do than react to this report. Human Rights Watch is clearly complicit in the terrorists’ atrocities, » Col Cyrille Atonfack told the Reuters news agency, rejecting all the allegations.
Both the separatists and government troops have been accused of human rights abuses.