The Joint Commission of Inquiry set by the President of the Republic to shed light on the circumstances and establish responsibilities into the incidents of the night of 13 to 14 February 2020 in the locality of Ngarbuh in the North West region has presented in final report.
The report was made public by the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngo Ngo, and this Tuesday, February 21, 2020 in Yaoundé.
According to the report, Joint Commission of Inquiry in to the Ngarbuh incident conducted findings, collected and analysed clues and gathered evidence in Bamenda, Kumbo, Nkambe, Ntumbaw and Ngarbuh to reconstruct the scenes of the tragic event and establish responsibilities.
Measures Ordered By The President Of The Republic
After taking cognisance of the finding, the President of the Republic ordered;
1- The institution of disciplinary proceedings against Major Nyiagono Ze Charles, Commander of the 52th Motorised Infantry Battalion and all the servicemen who took part in the Ngarbuh operation.
2- The arrest of Sergeant Baba Guida, Gendarme Sanding Sanding Cyrille and Private 1st Class Harana Gilbert as well as the ten members of the vigilante committee involved in the Ngarbuh 3 tragic events and the institution of legal proceedings against them. The service men concerned are already at the disposal of the Yaounde Military Tribunal while the concerned vigilante committee members are actively being tracked down;
3- The exhumation of the corpses of the victims in order to give them a decent burial at the cost of the State and to establish the necessary evidence to bring out the truth:
4- Identification of the rightful claimants of the victims by the administration to enable the state to pay appropriate compensation and indemnities.
5- The strengthening of security in the village of Ngarbuh, especially by creating a military base and setting up other public services which should help to ensure better protection of civilians against the abuses of armed groups, the return of displaced persons and easing of intercommunity tensions.
Reconstruction Of The Scenes Of The Tragic Event at Ngarbuh
The report of the Commission concluded that, Ngarbuh, located in Ndu Sub division, Donga Mantung Division, North West region had become a pole for supply of arms, ammunitions, and fuel for secessionist groups located in Bui division and part of Ngoketunjia Division
The terrorist were engaged in all sorts of abuses against the local population (cattle rustling, rape, assaults etc) which warranted an intervention by the Defence and security Forces in order to protect them.
A reconnaissance mission was authorised on February 12 by Major Nyiangono Ze Charles Eric, Commander of the 52th Motorised Infantry Battalion (BIM) in Nkambe. It was led by Sergeant Baba Guida, Commander of Ntumbaw joint regiment.
The detachment left Ntumbaw base on February 13, 2020 at 10 P.M with three servicemen and two Gendarmes. AS they advanced, the detachment commander decided to enlist seventeen members of local vigilante committee.
At the entrance of the village, the group split into two teams to comb Ngarbuh 2 and Ngarbuh 3 neighbourhoods.
Upon entering Ngarbuh 3, the team led by Sergeant Baba Guida, comprising Gendarme Sanding Cyrille, Private 1st Class Haranga and ten members of the vigilante committee, launched an attack based on information provided by a repented terrorist and a farmer from the area.
Following an exchange of gunfire, during which five terrorist were killed, and many weapons seized, the detachment discovered that three women and ten children had died because of its action.
Panic-stricken, he three servicemen with the help of some members of the vigilante committee, tried to conceal the facts by causing fires.
On his return to Ntumbaw, Sergeant Baba Guida who led the operation, submitted a deliberately gave a biased report to his superiors, a report on which the government initially based its statement.
Responsibilities Established Ngarbuh Joint Commission Of Inquiry
Major Nyiangono Ze Charles Eric, Commander of the 52th Motorised Infantry Battalion (BIM), who know how senstitive the Ngarbuh area was, due to the prevailing high intercommunity tension, failed to personally supervise the operation carried out by his troops
Sergeant Baba Guida, involved armed civilians in a military operation, failed to control his troops during the operation, ordered the burning down of houses and deliberately produced a false report on the operation and its toll;
Gendarme Sanding Sanding Cyrille took part in an operation that caused the death of several persons and the burring of houses.
Private 1st Class Haranga took part in an operation that caused the death of several persons and the buring of houses.
Ten private members of the vigilante committee enlisted in Ngarbuh 3, who have not yet been identified, took part in an operation that caused the death of several persons and burring of houses.
The President of the Republic has once again extended his condolences and those of the entire nation to the families of the victims and assured them of his determinations to ensure that justice is done.
He has also instructed officials of the defence and security forces to ensure with increased determination that they always perform their duty with professionalism while ensuring the protection of civilians and systematically invested and where necessary properly punish any exactions.
While saluting the work on the committee and its partners, the President of the Republic indicated that the protection of human rights is a noble and serious cause that should be defended with vigilance and firmness as well as serenity and discernment.
He also affirms his attachment to the search for ways and means to peacefully resolve the crisis in the Worth West and South West regions in line with the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue.
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