The United Nations rights chief has expressed “deep alarm” at spiralling Cameroon violence, blaming the government and armed groups for a litany of abuses in anglophone regions during unrest that has displaced more than 180,000 people.
Scores of civilians have been killed in the English-speaking northwest and southwest of Cameroon in escalating violence since last year between government forces and separatists, with communities subjected to attacks, kidnappings and arson.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned violence by the separatists, but said the “heavy-handed security response that the government appears to have employed since October last year will only make matters worse for the women, children and men caught in the middle”.
In a statement released on Wednesday, he highlighted reports that armed groups had carried out “kidnappings, targeted killings of police and local authorities, extortion and have torched schools”.
Government forces have also been accused of “killings, the excessive use of force, burning down of houses, arbitrary detentions and torture”.