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Militarised Conflict Zones in Anglophone Regions of Cameroon

 

Mariama, Cameroon, West Africa

I have no doubt that you believe that women are victims of gruelling forms of violence in Africa, wait until you hear what is going on in my community. My name is Mariama, I live in the Anglophone region of Cameroon, West Africa. A few months ago, the government deployed military troops to the Anglophone regions of Cameroon which led to sporadic clashes with secessionists, leading to rampage destruction of property, massive arrest of civilians, looting, raping of young women and girls, burning down houses and killing of civilians by the Government troops.

Just two weeks ago, the government troops burnt down the entire village of Kwa-Kwa near Kumba in Meme division, South West region, forcing the population to flee to bushes and flock to Nigeria where they now live in refugee camps. During this episode, an old lady was burnt alive in her house and five girls abducted by government troops. Aged between 14 and 17, two of these girls are three and seven months pregnant, one was physically abused resulting in a swollen left breast.

They’re currently holding these girls in detention in their base just outside the town to be tried at the Military Tribunal. These girls are being repeatedly raped and all attempts by some of their family members to get them released have failed.  The worst part of it is the fact that there is no access to medical care for these young girls especially the two pregnant teenage girls and the one with the swollen breast. Well, just so you know, they are being held in prisons which were constructed to accommodate 300 inmates, with the advent of the crisis, more than 2000 inmates are being dumped into these cells with little or no food and continuous violation of their rights. The conditions of these women can only be imagined, they need urgent intervention to get out of such deplorable condition. They should be released and taken to hospital for medical, physical and psychological care and a suit filed against the perpetrators!