By Tina S. Mehnpaine – Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, September 9, 2020.
The Liberian chapter of Young Leaders of Africa (YOLEAF), a fraternity of youths across Africa handed to the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, Wednesday September 9, 2020, a video of atrocities by the Cameroon government.
YOLEAF said it was petitioning OHCHR through its Liberian representative over gross Human Rights abuses taking place in the Central African country of Cameroon.
The network also implicated Cameroon’s 87-year-old President, citing that Paul Biya’s soldiers have raped woman and children, torched several villages and killed at least 10,000 civilians in the country’s North West and South West.
“Whereas, the response of government security forces of President Paul Biya has included the killing of over 10.000 innocent civilians, raping of women and children, kidnapping of students, torching villages by the Rapid Intervention Battalion, using torture and incommunicado detention in villages and cities across the North West and South West of Cameroon,” YOLEAF said in statement, Wednesday.
YOLEAF while handing over the video and petition to an OHCHR Monrovia representative emphasized that the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR as it is called in French) carried out all atrocities under Biya’s instructions.
Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions are engulfed in an armed conflict with a demand by majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia, a crisis that has led to thousands of deaths, torching of hundreds of villages, millions of displaced people and thousands of political prisoners.
The network also accused an unnamed group of non-state actors for kidnapping over 170 students from a boarding school in the country’s North West region in 2019.
YOLEAF told the OHCHR that if nothing is done to address the situation, another Genocide worst than Rwanda’s will be witnessed, adding the highhandedness of the regime gave birth to self-defense among separatist groups.
The network also cited numerous rights clauses, including the UN Chatter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Rome Statue, have all been contravened by the Biya Regime.
YOLEAF said it was urging OHCHR to launch a full investigation into the gross violation of Human Rights and massacre in the country’s two English-speaking regions.
The network also said it was vital OHCHR recommended to the UN Security Council to mount pressure on both state and non-state actors to put an immediate end to hostilities.
The Young Leaders of Africa (YOLEAF) – Network called on a special UN Mission to the waring locales to investigate and report to relevant outlets the on-the-ground situation.
The body also advocates genuine peace talks between belligerent parties be initiated headed by a special council with a mandate from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
YOLEAF also said those connected with war crimes and Human Rights violations be arrested and handed over to the International Criminal Court for prosecution, adding that Cameroon be suspended from the UN.
The youths who walked the streets of Monrovia in peaceful protest and demonstration of solidarity to those they described as their Cameroonian brothers also presented same contents to the US and Chinese embassies in Monrovia.