A Victim of Buea Explosions Succumbs To Death

A Victim of Buea Explosions Succumbs To Death

One of the victims of the three explosions that occurred on Saturday, February 25 in Buea during the Mount Cameroon race of hope has died. Some 19 other victims of the explosions were discharged from hospital on Monday February 27, after responding favourably to treatment.

Linda Nji died at the Buea Regional Hospital about 4am on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. The Buea Regional Hospital Director, Dr Martine Mokake said she suffered from a cardiac arrest and died. Linda Nji and her three children, alongside her two brothers stood beside the car where the second explosion went off at Bunduma in Buea. She and her children and two brothers got injured and were rushed to the Buea Regional Hospital where she was placed under intensive care. Before dying, only her husband of the family members had access to her, The Post learnt. At the late victim’s home, The Post learnt that her two brothers have been discharged but her children are still receiving treatment. The family said Linda Nji’s corps has been placed at the Buea Regional Hospital Mortuary while awaiting Burial.

Two other victims of the attack at the Bonduma neighbourhood The Post learnt, were referred to Douala for intensive and specialist care in Douala because of the bodily damages they incurred. On Saturday, over 20 people got injured among three athletes who were participating in the 50th edition of the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope.  The attack occurred at Biaka Junction, Bunduma and Great Soppo – all localities in Buea. One of the factions of the separatist movement, ADF which is clamouring for an independent nation in Cameroon’s English region claimed responsibility for the attacks, however, a coalition of separatist fighters in the two regions in an outing warned the ADF leadership in the diaspora, against claiming responsibility for attacks “they know nothing about”.

Separatist fighters have over the years threatened participating athletes and spectators against participating but it mostly ended at threats and calls for ghost towns. This is the first time they have launched attacks targeting athletes and spectators. Days prior to the event, hundreds of troops drawn from the elite BIR force, the army, gendarmerie and police force were stationed all over Buea to ensure the security and safety of athletes and spectators, but it seems they failed in their duty, as three attacks were still recorded. So far, the military has not made any statement regarding the bombings and those behind it.

The 4th Geneva Convention on protection of civilian population against certain consequences of war in its article 15 (b) states that “Civilian persons who take no part in hostilities, and who, while they reside in the zones, perform no work of a military character”, are protected and cannot be targeted. As such, the attack on spectators and athletes breeched humanitarian law. 

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in its Part II, Article 2(1) says each state party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. As such, the Cameroon government owed an obligation to guarantee and ensure the safety of all athletes and citizens during the race.

On its part, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its Article 3, gives everyone the right to life, liberty and the security of person. It furthers in Article 5, that No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These rights were all violated by the attackers who used explosive devices that wounded several persons and even led to the death of a woman. Dr Martin Mokake, Director of the Buea Regional Hospital revealed after the incident that three of the injured cases were critical and were on intensive care at the Buea Regional Hospital.

Reacting to the incident, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho said he was shocked by the horrific attack. “I strongly condemn such barbaric acts and call for restraint”, he said, furthering with a call for the government to carry out an investigation and bring the perpetrators to face justice. After the race, Cameroon’s Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Professor Narcise Mouele Kombi accompanied by the Governor of the Southwest region visited the hospital where the victims were receiving treatment. During the visit, Governor Okalia acknowledged that “during the course of the event (Mountain Race), we registered three explosions. Explosions were hidden in the garbage. But I must underline that those explosions did not disturb the race,” he said.

By Andrew Nsoseka