Ambanews24 Correspondent – Bamenda
At about 10:00am on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Cameroun soldiers shot and killed Fuh Augustine, a driver to one of the Doctors without Borders providing humanitarian services in Ambazonia.
The unarmed civilian was shot in the doctor’s car at the St. Mary Soledad Hospital in Alakuma. Alakum is on the way from City Chemist Roundabout in Bamenda to Bafut.
The murdered victim, himself a worker of Doctors without Borders, was heading to the hospital to pick up the doctor who had been assisting sick internally displaced persons and Ambazonians maimed by the Cameroun police, gendarmes and soldiers.
AmbaNews24 has ascertained from one other person who was in the vehicle that Cameroun soldiers pulled the driver over at one of their check points. He then headed to the hospital unbeknownst to him that the Cameroun military unit was following him from the back at a distance. When he got to the St. Mary Soledad parking lot, the soldiers fired bullets into him killing him at the spot.
One patient at the hospital almost died of heart attack from the gun shots. Fear has gripped the sick in the hospital as it is now evident to them that stray or intentional bullets from the Cameroun military can kill them on their sick beds at anytime.
The Cameroun Ministry of Defense put out a press statement no. 01187/CRP/MINDEF/01 on February 19, insinuating that the Cameroun soldiers considered Augustine one among a group of “secessionists” that they were tracking in the area. In this false claim, the Cameroun government could not even account for why its soldiers then killed the civilian in a hospital when he was unarmed and was on a hospital ground.
The killing of Fuh Augustine, just as more than 5,000 Ambazonian civilians, including babies, pregnant women, the deaf and the dump, etc that the Cameroun government has killed in the last four years is a war crime. The Geneva Convention on the laws of war prohibits attacks on medical facilities grounds.
In the above-mentioned press statement, the Cameroun government also claims that its soldier who killed the innocent driver has been apprehended and is under detention in the Bamenda Gendarmerie Company. However, AmbaNews24 determined yesterday at about 7:50pm from sources in the said gendarmerie that no soldier has been brought to the facility under arrest. Instead, the perpetrator of this war crime was taken in the morning by other Cameroun soldiers to the house of a certain Anangfac G. Alexis in Big Mankon.
Doctors without Borders are providing medical assistance to victims of Cameroun government’s maiming, torture, deprivation of food and water across the Ambazonia territory in an unwarranted war declared by Paul Biya against the Ambazonia people’s right to external self-determination.
There have been multiple instances in which Cameroun soldiers have attacked even humanitarian agencies while they are distributing aid such as food and water to internally displaced persons in schools.
This attack on Doctors without Borders personnel is happening barely five days after Cameroun soldiers burnt down over twenty five houses in Ngarbuh and massacred at least 45 civilians among which were fourteen children between 5months and 13years, pregnant women and the elderly. The Cameroun soldiers who committed this genocidal act proceeded to burn the bodies of the innocent, unarmed children.
This has sparked global outcry including from the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the USA Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibot Naggy. In all their statements, they have called on the Cameroun government to investigate the incidence. The question many are asking, however, is how a government can investigate the evils it is instructing its soldiers to commit. That is the same as asking ISIS to investigate its beheading of innocent civilians. For how long will the world stand by, talk and do nothing?
The St. Mary Soledad Hospital is owned and managed by Sisters of Maria Soledad Torres y Acosta, a Catholic religious congregation commonly referred to as “Sisters, Servants of Mary.” The Cameroun soldiers have multiple times attempted to invade wards in the hospital, claiming they are hosting Ambazonian independence fighters. The sisters have fought back, putting their lives at risk for the sick, resisting such intrusion into religious and health facilities.
On February 17, 2020, seventeen Catholic bishops around the world wrote to Mr. Paul Biya, asking him to stop the atrocities and enter into negotiations with Ambazonian independence leaders. Among the bishops who wrote to Biya are copied Pope Francis are Bishop Siegfried Jwara, the Vicariate Apostolic in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Archbishop Donald Bolen of the Archdiocese of Regina in Canada, Bishop Mark Davies of the Dioecese of Shrewsbury in England, The Most Reverend Charles Hammawa Jalingo of the Diocese of Tabara State in Nigeria, Bishop Jose Cabantan of the Diocese of Malaybalay in the Philippines, Bishop Thomas R. Zinkula of the Diocese of Davenport in Iowa, USA, and Cardinal Soane Patita Mafi of the Diocese of Tonga in the South Pacific.
The Cameroun government has rejected all calls for peace and opted for military brutality, scotched earth policy in which it has burnt down over 400 Ambazonian towns and villages, war crimes and crimes against humanity.