Ngarbuh Incident : Government Establishes Responsibilities, Proposes Sanctions

Below is a press release from the Presidency of the Republic on the report of the Commission of Inquiry.

«Following the tragic events of the night of 13 to 14 February 2020 in the locality of Ngarbuh, and in pursuance of the High Instructions of the PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, HIS EXCELLENCY PAUL BIYA, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Defence set up, on 17 February 2020, a Joint Commission of Inquiry whose tasks were: (i) to shed light on the circumstances under which these tragic events occurred; and (ii) to establish the responsibilities of the various actors.

Under the authority of the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie and chaired by a military judicial and legal officer, the Commission of Inquiry was composed of Army and National Gendarmerie Officers.

Exceptionally, the Commission of Inquiry resorted to the services of the following observers:

- Mr Chemuta Divine Banda, President of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF)

- His Grace George Nkuo, Bishop of the Kumbo Diocese;

- Mr Ahmadou Baba Sale, Imam of the Ntumbaw Central


- Mrs. Dighambong, née Mih Bibiana, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the non-governmental Organization called Bihdulem Humanitarian Association of Peace and Hope (BIHAPH) ;

- Captain Iberi Ziem Hamed Karim, Chief Prevention Office at the 50th Group of Firefighters in Bamenda;

- Mr. Chenwi Chrysantus Shu, Regional Secretary of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms for the North-West Region.

On the instruction of the HEAD OF STATE, the United Nations Organization was requested to participate in the work of the


Commission. In response, the United Nations promised to provide technical support that the Cameroonian Justice which is now in charge of the matter could use as and when necessary.

The Commission of Inquiry conducted field visits to Bamenda, Kumbo, Nkambe, Ntumbaw and Ngarbuh, where it recorded various findings, collected and analyzed clues and gathered evidence which enabled it to reconstruct the scene of these tragic events.

At the end of its work, the Commission arrived at the following conclusions:

- the village of Ngarbuh, located in Ndu Sub-Division, Donga Mantung Division, North-West Region had become a centre where secessionist terrorists regrouped and a logistics pole for the supply of arms, ammunition and fuel for secessionist groups located in Bui Division and part of Ngoketunjia Division.

- The terrorists 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.

- To this end, a reconnaissance mission was authorized on 12 February 2020 by Major NYIANGONO ZE Charles Eric, Commander of the 52nd Motorized Infantry Battalion (BIM) in Nkambe. It was led by Sergeant BABA GUIDA, commander of Ntumbaw joint regiment.

- The detachment left the Ntumbaw base on 13 February 2020 at 10 p.m. with three (3) servicemen and two (2) gendarmes. As they advanced, the detachment commander decided to enlist seventeen (17) members of a

       local vigilante committee.                                          


- At the entrance of the village of Ngarbuh, the group split into two teams to comb Ngarbuh 2 and Ngarbuh 3 neighbourhoods.

- Upon entering the Ngarbuh 3 neighbourhood, the place of the tragedy, the team led by Sergeant SABA GUIDA, comprising Gendarme SANDING SANDING Cyrille, Private 1st Class HARANGA and ten (10) 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 (5) terrorists were killed, and many weapons seized, the detachment discovered that three (3) women and ten (10) children had died because of its action.

- Panic-stricken, the 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 biased report to his superiors, a report on which the Government initially based its statement.

ln terms of responsibilities, the Commission has established that:

- Major NYIANGONO ZE Charles Eric, Commander of the 52nd Motorized Infantry Battalion (BIM), who knew how sensitive the Ngarbuh area was, due to the prevailing high intercommunity tensions, 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

burning of houses;

_ Private 1st Class HARANGA took part in an operation that

caused the death of several persons and the burning of houses;

_ The ten 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 the burning of houses.

After taking cognizance of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry, the PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC has ordered the following measures:

The institution of disciplinary proceedings against Major NYIANGONO ZE Charles E...



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