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Amnesty International war crime claims’ are baseless-Tchiroma

 Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon's Minister of Communication, has said Amnesty International's claims that the country's security forces are committing war…

 Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s Minister of Communication, has said Amnesty International’s claims that the country’s security forces are committing war crimes against boko haram suspects are baseless.

To Tchiroma, by accusing Cameroon, the rights group is playing the role of an organisation for the defence of terrorist interest.

Cameroon’s security forces were on Thursday July 20, accused of torturing hundreds of Boko Haram suspects, leading to dozens of deaths, in what Amnesty International said was a war crime.


Amnesty’s regional director for West and Central Africa, Alioune Tine, said Boko Haram had committed atrocities and war crimes in Cameroon.

“But nothing could justify the callous and widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary Cameroonians, who are often arrested without any evidence and forced to endure unimaginable pain,” he said.

“These horrific violations amount to war crimes,” he added in a statement, calling for an independent investigation.

Amnesty said it had unearthed 101 cases of secret detention and documented at least 24 different types of torture at more than 20 different sites in Cameroon between 2013 and 2017.


While addressing pressmen in Yaounde on July 21, Tchiroma, said discussing such sensitive information, more importantly, in a country at war, cannot be tolerated because these are unacceptable breaches against the national security for which Amnesty International will be held accountable.

“This report is aimed at tarnishing the image of the security and defence forces of Cameroon in the eyes of their international partners and dissociates them from the global response called for by the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of all the defence forces, and in which Cameroon is a key link at regional level and most special at sub regional level,” he added.

According to Tchiroma, the AI accusations are based on fictitious or instrumentalised witness accounts while trying to sustain the allegations with inconsistent evident that do not stand up to reality.

“Who, if not an ill-intentioned person, can truly believe that a country that subjects Boko Haram blood thirsty criminals, even when arrested with weapons in their hands, will be reduced to perpetuating atrocities against its own population?

If our army carried out extra judicially killing as Amnesty International claims, will there be more than 1,000 Boko Haram criminals in our prison treated humanely as in the case today, in spite of the unspeakable atrocities committed by Boko Haram, especially against civilian population?” he questioned.

To him, any fighter of this terrorist organisation arrested on the national territory is subjected to an investigation and a judgment in the competent court according to the rule of the law.

“Significant financial resources are being made available for their case as well as for the development of the rehabilitation of their places of detention,” Tchiroma added

According to him, the mobilisation move of Amnesty International targeting the BIR, an elite unit of the army, is in an attempt to demolish the complete base of the defence forces.

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