From Noela Ebob Bisong in Limbe
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon, Matthias Z. Naab, has in very strong terms condemned the recent attack on a UN convoy in the crisis-plagued South West region. The attack is said to have occurred at Ikata village, last March 26.
According to a statement from the Humanitarian Affairs office, released on April 3, 2021 in Yaounde, the attack was supposedly carried out by a non-state armed group. The statement details that: “The UN convoy, composed of two vehicles with seven staff members, was conducting a monitoring mission to Munyenge village in the South-West region. Shortly after entering Ikata village, a group of armed men opened fire on the convoy with automatic weapons. The attack did not lead to any loss of life or injuries among the mission participants, but the two vehicles were seriously damaged”.
Matthias Z. Naab observed that “this attack is the first of this kind on a UN convoy since the beginning of the North-West and South-West crisis”, nonetheless, noting that “however, several humanitarian workers have been threatened, abducted, injured, and killed to date in the two regions”.
The statement further points out that the general insecurity, “especially attacks on civilians, aid workers, and essential social service providers, increases the population’s suffering and undermines humanitarian actors’ capacity to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance timely”.
Naab, addressing the conflicting parties in the crisis urged them to “abide by their obligations under international human rights law and to refrain from any attacks against humanitarian organisations, educational and health care facilities and their personnel and assets”.
He equally stated that “the United Nations calls for perpetrators of these attacks to be held accountable”. While emphasising the humanitarian community’s commitment to continue supporting all those affected by the crisis in Cameroon, the Humanitarian Coordinator maintains that, “Safe, timely, and unhindered access of humanitarian organizations to deliver life-saving aid to the affected population needs to be guaranteed.”