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Cameroon Attacks Amnesty International Report on Military Abuses

  • VOA News

FILE - A Cameroonian soldier guards at an observation post on a hill in the Mandara Mountain chain in Mabass overlooking Nigeria, northern Cameroon.

FILE - A Cameroonian soldier guards at an observation post on a hill in the Mandara Mountain chain in Mabass overlooking Nigeria, northern Cameroon.

Cameroon says Amnesty International exhibited bad faith in a recent report that accused the central African nation's military of committing atrocities as it fights Boko Haram terrorism.

Communications minister and government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakari said the report is full of gross exaggerations and unfounded claims. He added Amnesty International notoriously intervenes in security issues of sovereign states, but did not name other instances.

"The investigation that these researchers pretend to carry out lack[s] objectivity and methodological rigor. Since Amnesty International seems interested only by the Boko Haram case, let me inform them that they will be wise if they avoid getting into misconceptions of a legitimate state fighting against the acts of violations and destruction committed by an organization whose soul and conscience are built on the ground of terrorism," said Issa Tchiroma.

Issa Tchiroma said Cameroon has been respecting its own laws as well as international conventions on human rights that it willfully ratified.

"With regards to the alleged willful violation of human rights by our soldiers, I will first like to indicate to Amnesty International that the obligation to respect human rights whether in times of peace or war is part and parcel of the training of our defense and security forces and that each time they have been on the battle field they have always complied to this obligation," he said.

In the report, Amnesty condemned Cameroon's military for illegally detaining 1,000 Boko Haram suspects under difficult conditions, leading to the deaths of 25. It also said 130 men and boys had disappeared while in the hands of Cameroon soldiers, and called on the international community to open investigations and punish those guilty according to international law.

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