Three princes of Mbei village in Santa, Mezam Division of Cameroon’s Northwest
Region, were killed on the night of April 22, 2023, by men locals say were separatist
fighters. The three Princes were killed in a drinking spot at Mbei Market alongside a
The latest killings, this time in Santa Subdivision, depict what has now unfortunately
become a norm and almost way of life in Anglophone regions of Cameroon where
government forces and separatist fighters have been fighting since 2017. With
continuous fighting, a lot of structures have crumbled and administrative influence is
increasingly failing and fading in several hard-hit communities. The increasing number
attacks robberies and other crimes committed not only by state and separatist fighters,
but organised gangs as well has ushered in chaos, which has now almost become
difficult to follow-up and investigate by the remaining administration with its limited
The Santa attack and killings, like that in many areas, has sent shock waves around the
village and community, especially the killing of the three princes. So far, no separatist
leader or fighters operating in the area has issued a statement taking responsibility for
the action, or explaining the reason behind it. They have not also issued any statement
debunking allegations that they are the ones behind the gruesome attack.
Those familiar with the incident name the victims as Achiri, Ngu, Terrence, and
Sylvanus. They are said to have been well-known in the community and respected as
the three young men were members of the royal family and potential successors to the
throne of their father. The quarter head too was a respected member of the community.
“We heard gunshots and after the gunshots, a friend called and informed me that four
persons have been shot dead at a store around the Mbei village market going towards
the Mbei Palace. When we rushed there, we found the dead bodies inside the bar”, a
community member told the media.
So far, no statement has also been made by the local administrators in the area. The
Post contacted the Divisional Officer for Santa, Jules Roger Nkolo Voundi, and asked
whether any investigations have been launched to unveil the attackers and render
justice, as the cases have rather become too rampant. We also asked whether it was
increasingly becoming difficult to provide security to the everyday citizen. In response,
D.O Nkolo rather became irritated, questioning how his contact was gotten, and
challenging the type of questions asked, and ended up saying he would not answer any.
He said he could only say anything if the reporter comes to Santa where the risk and
On the question of ensuring the safety of citizens in the Region, the Chief of Staff for
Cameroon’s military, General Rene Claude Meka rather said soldiers should liaise and
work more with the population to get peace and security. Said soldiers should rather
“step up their operations and work with the population to bring peace to the Region”.
In article 3, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, pressing on the need to respect
and preserve human life, states that: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the
security of person.” Article 5, furthers that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
On its part, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, in its article 5, states:
“Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human
being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation
of man particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment
and treatment shall be prohibited.”
The government on her part, failed to protect its citizens, as per Article 2 (3) of the
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The state failed in its obligation to prevent the
violation of their rights to life. By signing the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, Cameroon has made an undertaking to respect and guarantee to all individuals
inhabiting its territory the right to life. This is as per Article 2 (1) of the Convention.
By Andrew Nsoseka, JADE