By Eric Tataw – Thursday July 25, 2019.
As anxieties have reached disproportionate amounts in many persons from the North West and South West of Cameroon currently hit by a deadly armed conflict between government soldiers and rebels trying create the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, an outlawed country they claim it’s the restoration of the statehood of the former British Cameroon.
On May 7, 2019, Karen Bass, Representative for California’s 37th congressional district, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, introduced legislation calling on the government of Cameroon and all armed factions to respect human rights and the rule of law in addition to adopting nonviolent methods to resolve conflict.
On Tuesday July 23, 2019, the resolution was passed in a vote in the House of Representatives. According to reports, a simple resolution is not voted on in the other chamber and does not have the force of law. The vote was by voice vote so no record of individual votes was made.
H.Res. 358 as the Resolution is called, is a simple resolution used for matters that affect just one chamber of Congress, often to change the rules of the chamber to set the manner of debate for a related bill. It must be agreed to in the chamber in which it was introduced. It is not voted on in the other chamber and does not have the force of law.
Confirming this, the office of Senator Shelley Wellons Moore Capito , a Republican Senator from West Virginia and daughter of three-term West Virginia governor Arch Alfred, told National Telegraph; Resolution 358 wouldn’t be going to the Senate. Her office confirmed that it’s a resolution of recommendation and nothing into it.
National Telegraph was also told that they can not force any thing on Southern Cameroons. The office also added that there’s nothing for the affected people of the two English-speaking people to be worried about.
This information comes to debunk previous information circulating on social media that the US has decided Federation for the Central African country of Cameroon.
Senators have however confirmed that the Senate would next week be introducing a different resolution on Cameroon. Staffers at the office of Benjamin Louis Cardin serving as the senior United States Senator from Maryland, told National Telegraph early Thursday July 25, 2019 at the Hart Office Senate Building that their office introduced the Resolution, adding that they’re however of Karen Bass’.
Many other sources at the Senate also told National Telegraph they’re aware of Resolution 358 but maintain it’s just a Resolution. Sources also said Senate would introduce its own Resolution on Cameroon subsequently.
Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions are wrapped in a deadly armed conflict. In October 2016, it started as a disagreement in language but government mismanaged it, turning it into an armed conflict with a demand by majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia as it was in 1961. Many are now asking the International Community to look at the root cause of the conflict from 1961.
On Friday, January 5, 2018, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius, the President of the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, an outlawed government fighting for the restoration of the statehood of the former British Cameroon and eleven others were arrested in Nera, a hotel in Abuja, Nigeria .
Ten of them would later be extradited to Yaoundé, an act that has been described as a bootleg. They’re being accused of fueling the armed conflict that has broken out in the two English-speaking regions. They’ve all denounced their Cameroonian Nationality, insisting that they’re of Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia, a self-proclaimed new nation.
According to credible reports from the US Ambassador to Cameroon, Peter Henry Barlerin, reputable Human Rights Lawyer Agbor Balla and Bishops of Mamfe and Kumbo, the Cameroon military has been wrapped in several war crimes.
The Cameroon government has blocked Humanitarian organisations from having access to the war-torn areas while others have been denied entry into the country like a recent case of a Human Rights Watch staff.
Armed separatists have also been accused of torture and human rights abuses according to a recent Human Rights Watch report but they’ve denied any wrongdoing, saying that government soldiers now dress like Ambazonia fighters, commit crimes and blame it on separatist.
An estimated ten thousand persons have been killed by the Cameroon military, thousands jailed, over more than a million displaced as refugees with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) more than doubling refugee figures. Hundreds of houses have been torched, schools closed and humanitarian calamity has been recorded.
Karen Bass in the Resolution statement said; “The ongoing crisis and violence taking place in Cameroon at this very moment is something that deserves the attention of the world. Both the government and armed groups must be held accountable for their role in the violation of fundamental human rights. The rule of law must be adhered to regarding the civil liberties of all Cameroonian citizens including the right to free speech and assembly without the threat of being detained or executed.
“Numerous human rights observers have documented the killing of traditional leaders and the targeting of women, children, and the elderly by armed groups who are perceived to be associated with the Government of Cameroon. Meanwhile, the Government of Cameroon security forces have attacked medical facilities and health workers in the Northwest and Southwest regions and charged journalists, social activists, and members of political opposition parties with terrorism, having them prosecuted in military tribunals.
“The situation in Cameroon continues to deteriorate. In addition to hundreds of deaths, hundreds of thousands have been displaced. All parties must come together to find a peaceful resolution to this conflict.”
The resolution Bass said is calling on the Government of Cameroon and all armed groups to respect the human rights of all Cameroonian citizens, to end all violence, and to pursue a broad-based dialogue without preconditions to resolve the conflict in the North West and South West regions.
The resolution was cosponsored by Representative Chris Smith for New Jersey’s 4th congressional district, Rep. Ron Kind for Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district, Rep. Tim Walberg for Michigan’s 7th congressional district, Rep. Joaquin Castro for Texas’s 20th congressional district, Rep. Mark Meadows for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district Rep. Ilhan Omar for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district and Rep. Ron Wright for Texas’s 6th district.