At least 24 civilians were killed in Mamfe, in the English-speaking southwest region of the country. According to municipal and prefectural authorities, children, women and men are among the victims.
The attack started a little before 4:00 a.m. local time, in the Egbekaw neighborhood, a high-risk neighborhood as armed groups circulate in the area. The town is located on the edge of a river and forest. People were asleep at the time of the arson attack, and those who tried to escape were shot and killed.
The attack, described as “terrorist” by the Cameroonian authorities, left 24 civilians dead as well as 10 homes razed to the ground. While NGOs speak of a heavier toll.
The massacre is believed to be due to reprisals against local civilian populations, suspected of cooperating with government armed forces. The Cameroonian authorities announced the opening of an investigation to find the perpetrators.
Since the start of the Anglophone crisis in 2016, the town of Mamfe has been targeted several times by separatists. Three years ago, the city’s mayor was assassinated by armed men. The town’s hospital was burned down last year.
Written by RFI’s Richard Onanena and translated by allAfrica’s Michael Tantoh