THE Amnesty Internation says at least 275 people have been killed and others mutilated or kidnapped during a resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the Far North of Cameroon between january and November this year.
The international human right group disclosed this in a statement, noting that a field research carried out documented crimes under international law and violations which took place during attacks between January and November 2019.
It said between January and November 2019, 275 people were killed during Boko Haram attacks, which is the equivalent of 25 a month. And 225 were civilians.
“The people we met in Cameroon’s Far North are living in terror. Many of them have already witnessed Boko Haram attacks and lost family members or friends,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Acting Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“They no longer ask whether there will be further attacks but when they will take place – they feel completely abandoned by the authorities.”
Daoud lamented that the people are living in total deprivation and will continue to suffer Boko Haram’s murderous assaults or leave their communities if nothing is done.
She noted that the Cameroonian authorities must urgently increase the protection for the areas affected, in accordance with respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
In a two-weeks field research conducted during a visit to Maroua and Mokola in Cameroon’s Far North, Daoud said 30 victims and witnesses to crime and abuses committed by Boko Haram were interviewed.
Interviews were also conducted in Yaoundé with humanitarian officials, academics, representatives of associations, researchers and lawyers, she said.
The human right group recalled that on January 9, 2019, Camerron President, Paul Biya announced that Boko Haram had been “pushed outside” Cameroon’s borders and now presented “a residual threat”.
However, she said Amnesty International’s research showed that, since then, there has been a resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the Far North.
It noted that people living in Tourou had experienced 16 attacks since the start of the year in which six people were killed and several more kidnapped.
They said members of security committees are often targeted, as well as people who are elderly, vulnerable or living with disability.
The group also documented the mutilation of three women, and at the end of July, these women, aged between 27 and 40, had each an ear cut off by members of Boko Haram.
“The attackers told us they had cut an ear off of each of us because they had been unable to capture our husbands, and that next time they would kill us,” a woman said.
The husband of another victim gave the following testimony: ” … They stopped one of my wives and told her to go with them. When she refused, they threatened to cut her throat. She said she’d rather that than go with them. One of the men then suggested they slit her throat, one that they cut her hand off and the third that they cut her ear off. So that’s what they did and they left her like that…”