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Insurgency: UN condemns brutal attack on 800 IDPs in Cameroon camp

By Reporter

Aug. 5, 2020 - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has condemned the “unprovoked and brutal attack” on 800 internally displaced people (IDPs) in a makeshift camp in Nguetchewe, Cameroon’s Far North region.

UNHCR’s Spokesperson, Babar Baloch while briefing journalists in Geneva said “At least 18 people were killed and 11 injured in the incident during the early hours of Sunday, August 2”.

Baloch said some of the wounded persons were evacuated to Mokolo district hospital, an hour’s drive from Nguetchewe.

He said that another 1,500 people, including terrified residents of the hosting village, fled to the nearby town of Mozogo for safety.

“UNHCR is deploying an emergency mission to assess the situation and evaluate the protection and health needs of those affected.

“This attack follows a significant rise in violent incidents in Cameroon’s Far-North Region in July, including looting and kidnapping by Boko Haram and other armed groups active in the region.

“The Far North region, tucked between Nigeria’s Borno and Adamawa states and Lake Chad, currently hosts 321,886 IDPs and 115,000 Nigerian refugees,” .

This incident is a sad reminder of the intensity and brutality of the violence in the wider the Lake Chad Basin region that has forced more than three million people to flee,” Mr. Baloch said.

The UNHCR also calls on all actors to respect the civilian and humanitarian character of IDP camps, and to respond promptly to the urgent needs of people who have fled violence and suffered multiple displacements.

UN Secretary- General, Antonio Guterres has also condemned the “heinous attacks against civilians in the Lake Chad Basin Region.

Guterres in a statement issued by Deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq said the attacks led to the killing and abduction of many civilians, including women, children and displaced people who had fled violence.

He said news reports pinned responsibility for this most recent aggression in the troubled region on Boko Haram jihadists, adding that “those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable.

“International human rights law and international humanitarian law must be fully respected and all civilians in Cameroon and Chad must be protected”, he stressed on behalf of the UN chief.

The UN pledged its “steadfast” support to the countries of the Lake Chad Basin in their efforts “to overcome the scourge of terrorism, and address the security, political, humanitarian and socio-economic challenges in the region.

Also condemning that attack, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed its deepest condolences to the victims’ families.

According to preliminary reports, 10 children lost their lives in the assault that also injured five.

UNICEF cited estimates in saying that that since January 2017, attacks in the Far North Region of Cameroon may have slaughtered more than 150 children.

The UN agency underscored that the “unacceptable” violence against children is “a grave violation of child rights”.

Jacques Boyer, UNICEF Representative to Cameroon said “All efforts should be made to ensure that children are protected.

“We once again strongly urge all parties involved in crises in Cameroon to do everything in their power to make sure children live and grow in an environment free from threats of any kind.”

Source: UN News

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