The items were destined to victims of the socio-political crisis in Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions. The vehicles heading to Pinyin were intercepted and burnt. The videos show the cars in flames while some of the items were being poured on the road and others emptied into the nearby bushes.
In one of the videos, a commentator who called himself “Striker” and a member of the Non-state Armed Group fighting for the independence of a country they call Ambazonia claimed responsibility for the act that has since attracted widespread condemnation.
Stationed near a vehicle in flames, the said Striker said: “Yes! It’s Striker talking. We have burnt all those things that Cameroon government sent in order to poison us here – rice, vegetable oil, and many other things. We have scattered the things. This is the vehicle that carried the items into Pinyin. We have burnt it. We have burnt everything. This is the vehicle that I have burnt. My boys are burning the other one.”
Journalist Nyingchuo Hilary describes the act as unacceptable. “The burning down of food items destined for vulnerable victims of this senseless war by supposed Restoration Fighters is unacceptable.”
A humanitarian worker who opted for anonymity said the Humanitarian aid depicted in the said video is not from the government but from the UN World Food Program executed around the world and in Cameroon through their local implementing partners aimed at relieving the suffering of the IDPs affected by the crisis.
“The food items are not poisonous and all necessary protocols were respected before the distribution. Implementing Organisations understand and fully respect Humanitarian Principles of Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality, Independence and Do No Harm,” the humanitarian worker said.
“I understand that the implementing partner of WFP in the North West Region include LUKMEF, Caritas etc who are all very credible and respected organisations who have been assisting local development long before the crisis in the North West and South West regions. Should you need more information, you should contact them directly. I also understand that blocking suffering masses access to aid or attacking humanitarian aid workers is a crime under humanitarian law.”