By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Friday, November 29, 2019.
A 235-page report on the 2018 Human Rights situation in Cameroon released, Wednesday, November 27, 2019, has given fresh instructions to armed groups in the country’s two English-speaking regions.
In parts of the report, separatist fighters are told to drop their guns, leave the bushes and cooperate with the government to restore peace in the embattled North West and South West regions.
In the document that has rather been considered by many as substandard, Cameroon is said to have witnessed an improvement in the human rights situation in 2018.
This is contrary to what many hold as the period in which Cameroon security forces contravened all regulations protecting Human Rights in the North West and South West.
The Commission said fewer cases of reports of human rights violations were recorded in 2018 compared to last year. Dr. Chemuta Divine Banda, the Commission’s President for Cameroon, however, decried the increased cases of violence, arsons, targeted killings adductions, closure of schools, among others.
Many circles continue to criticise the report as one prepared to cleanse the already corroded image of the Cameroon government that has been slammed by the US for gross Human Rights violations.
In a message to Congress, Trump said he would end Cameroon’s designation as a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) because the Government of Cameroon currently engages in gross violations of human rights.
Trump said in the letter dated Thursday, October 31, 2019, he was forced by these acts to end the AGOA with Cameroon. “Accordingly, I intend to terminate the designation of Cameroon as a beneficiary Sub-Saharan African country under the AGOA as of January 1, 2020.”
Ambassador Peter Henry Barlerin, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon after one of his visits to the Unity Palace, the official residence of Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya told the press that the Central African country was involved in targetted killings.
The military has killed babies, burnt old people in homes and razed entire villages in these two regions. The Catholic church has openly accused the military of killing innocent civilians especially with frank testimonies Bishops Andrew Nkea of Mamfe and George Nkuo of Kumbo and just recently, the emeritus Archbishop of Douala, Christian Cardinal Tumi.
Apart from the North West and South West hit by armed conflict, the Commission also highlighted issues in the East, Adamawa, and especially the Far North hit by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The Commission challenged the government to improve investigations of abuse and sanction perpetrators, implement the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue, among others.
Many circles continue to criticise the report as one prepared to cleanse the already corroded image of the Cameroon government that has been slammed by the US for gross human rights violations.