In the communiqué, he makes reference to a particular incident on May 17 when soldiers arrested a Catholic Priest who had dared to go out and look for food for the people who were starving in their hideout.
“Fr Sylvester Ngarba, the Parish Priest was arrested by the military when he went out to try and get food for the people who had been in the Church premises for over 5 hours without any nourishment,” Fr. Godlove says.
He reports that the military accused Fr. Sylvester of spying on them for the benefit of separatist fighters.
“Fr Sylvester was later released after spending about 3 hours in the custody of the military,” the Cameroonian Priest says, and adds, “A mentally challenged man popularly known as Shu Fai was killed bringing the total number of those killed in the military raids of Tadu, Buh, Ngamatse and Vekovi to seven.”
Fr. Godlove recalls that the government undertook a similar plan known as “Operation Clean up Bamenda” in the months of September and October last year.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At ACI Africa, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news from Africa, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church - so that you can grow in your Catholic faith.
When you subscribe to the ACI Africa Updates, we will send you a daily email with links to the news you need.
Use the form below to stay informed, and to tell us where we can send the ACI Africa Updates!
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Here, military forces were deployed to search for weapons, check receipts and invoices for all items found in the homes and to question people about hosting separatist fighters or knowledge of their whereabouts.
“It turned out that the military achieved nothing from this exercise, except that they enriched themselves as items that could not be accounted for in homes were either confiscated or their owners gave money to the military to reclaim them,” the Catholic Priest narrates.
He adds, “The truth remains that this operation yielded no fruits as armed separatists still wreak havoc in the city and with the emergence of IEDs, with detonations and attacks on the military a constant issue in Bamenda.”
In the DHPI report, Fr. Godlove has highlighted the changing dynamics in the conflict where armed separatists are perfecting their skills in warfare.
This, he says, is happening “against the backdrop of the government's die-hard approach to a military solution.”
“The days ahead can only get worse,” the Priest warns, and adds, “What is more, the military cannot expect the local people to help them to get the separatist fighters who are relatives and friends.”
“Until the government reconsiders its approach to this conflict and resorts to an all-inclusive dialogue, the local people will continue to die in their numbers and suffer many other inhumane treatment as the world stands by and watches!” the DHPI official warns.
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.