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Gov’t Under Fire To Produce 130 Missing Boko Haram Suspects 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Minister Beti Asomo(R), will he produce the Boko Haram suspects?

Minister Beti Asomo(R), will he produce the Boko Haram suspects?

The global human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, AI, has charged the Cameroon Government with the responsibility of producing 130 people, who were arrested by security forces in the Far North in the fight against Boko Haram.

The Non-Governmental Organisation is raising an alarm that the people are missing.

“Cameroonian authorities must reveal the where about of 130 men and boys who disappeared since 20 months ago following their arrest in an oppressive operation against presumed members of the Boko Haram sect,” the outfit states in a declaration issued recently.

The International NGO brought the issue to the fore during the commemoration of the International Day of Missing Persons on August 30.

According to the AL Director of the Regional Bureau for Central and West Africa, Government’s delay in revealing the where about of the 130 missing people is bringing more nightmares to family members.

Alioune Tine warns that Government should stop using the fight against Boko Haram as a justification for the flagrant violation of human rights.

The international human rights watchdog said, it has submitted a list of all the 130 missing people to the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice and military officials in the Far North Region.

It was in the wake of the AI pressure that the authorities opened investigations on the issue.

While commenting on the matter, the communication officer of the Ministry of Defence, Col. Didier Badjeck told Jeune Afrique news magazine recently that Government was meticulously carrying out the investigations in good faith.

He said Government was carrying out the investigation at its own rhythm, given that; it is also pre-occupied with the fight against Boko Haram.

To the Ministry of Defence Spokesperson, Government will act accordingly after concluding the investigations.

This is not the first time the international NGO is raising hell on the issue of the missing suspects.

The NGO first drew Government’s attention to it on December, 2015, one year after they were arrested.
At that time, the NGO rang the alarm bell about 200 missing men and boys.

They were arrested in villages Double and Magdeme in the Far North Region in December, 2014.
But Government fired back by insisting that the forces only arrested 70 suspects at the time.

It revealed that 25 of them died that same night, while 45 others were transferred to Maroua Prison.
In reaction, AI has insisted that 130 people are still missing, maintaining their claim that the forces arrested 200 people during that raid.

The human rights NGO has been at loggerheads with the Cameroon Government of recent.

In July, AI published a report, accusing Cameroonian defence forces of carrying out arbitrary arrest of 1000 suspects that it claimed were in detention camps.

The report claimed that those in detention were dying of diseases, malnutrition and torture.

The Minister of Communication cum Government’s Spokesperson, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, refuted the allegations.

He urged AI to fully appreciate the context of the asymmetric war in which Cameroon is fighting Boko Haram before making its sweeping accusations.

Observers hold that fighting Boko Haram and strictly respecting human rights remains a very dicey issue.

This is so because, the suicide-bombers that have claimed many lives are young unsuspecting children ready to kill at every given opportunity.

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