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Barrister Charles Taku, President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association says the Regime of Paul Biya, President of the Central African country of Cameroon has committed Genocide in the the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, National Telegraph has gathered.

Barrister Taku dished out this position on the sideline of statements from Cameroon’s Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute after he claimed at a point in his visit in Cameroon’s restive North West that dialogue has started.

Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions have been in war-mood since October 2016 after a disagreement in language and government’s mismanagement of the crisis turned it into a demand by majority of Anglophones for a separate state called Ambazonia.

Dr Dion Ngute is among many government officials to have been dispatched to the restive regions to bring peace messages to the affected populations but many have seen all of Biya’s envoys as hypocrites because they preach peace but move with heavy military presence and in most cases, the Cameroon military carry out killings in nearby precincts while they preach peace.

Provoked by a recent post from the Prime Minister in which as many say openly lied that dialogue has started while he was in Bamenda, capital of Cameroon’s restive North West, Barrister Taku penned down a well-written letter in which he openly called out the Biya Regime for committing Genocide. He writes;

“Dr Dione Ngute was the agent representing LRC at the hearing of the case brought on behalf of the Southern Cameroons by Dr Gwang Gumne and others in the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Judgement in the case was rendered in Banjul, the Gambia during the 45th Ordinary Session that held from 13 – 27 May 2009. 

In the Judgment that was subsequently endorsed by the General Assembly of African leaders during the AU conference in Sirtre in Libya, the African Commission unequivocally called for dialogue to resolve the crisis and offered its services to facilitate the dialogue.

It gave LRC 180 days to comply with its Judgment. It is on the records of the African Commission that LRC asked for an extension of time to comply with the Judgment.

Mr Prime Minister, true to itself, LRC did not comply with that Judgment and did not respect the decision relating to dialogue facilitated by the African Commission, even after the expiration of the extended timeline it sought and obtained. What a reckless display of bad faith!

In its characteristic exercise of impunity, LRC intensified its systemic and widespread violations of the protections afforded Southern Cameroons in international law.

These violations have been ongoing since an unprecedented conspiracy facilitated the breach of the UN Charter and UN Resolutions paving the way to the annexation and colonisation of Southern Cameroons by the LRC.

The escalation of the violations has led to genocide, also called the mother of crimes on the watch of a slow to act civilized world. This is unacceptable.


The Government of Cameroon considers these atrocity crimes as its legitimate exercise of impunity with arrogant alacrity. Its civilian and military commanders have in publicly available and well documented statements taken responsibility for these crimes.

They have consistently praised the professionalism of its military for conducting a war of genocide in which more than 200 civilian settlements have been torched with shocking charred remains of vulnerable children, women, the old and the sick left in the debris.

The Prime Minister Dr Dione Ngute himself on this so-called dialogue with the dead, praised the professionalism of these soldiers. During his visit there perpetrated egregious violations even in the neighbourhood of Bambili which he visited.

There, they massacred in a cold blood, a mother and her baby. Mr Prime Minister, this is genocide and not dialogue. I did not hear you order the arrest and prosecution of the criminal soldiers who massacred that mother and her baby.

The massacre of that woman and her child a few metres from where you visited indeed symbolizes the fate of hundreds of thousands of Southern Cameroonians for no reasons other than that they are Southern Cameroonians. That again sir, is genocide.

I began this piece by making a reference to the Judgment of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights which LRC accepted and asked for time to comply with but reneged on.

LRC in contempt instead intensified its 58 year old campaign of intimidation, humiliation, dehumanisation, indignity and death.

As the representative of LRC during the entire proceedings and judgment, you were and are better placed to advise your government to the hard reality that international legality may be slow but effective.

When Justice catches up with the arrogant exercise of impunity and criminality, its impact may devastate the soul of conscienceless predators of human life.

Differently, stated, a time comes when the victims of atrocious crimes are given a voice from their unmarked lonely graves to seek justice on their own behalf. That time sir, will come, sooner or later, here or in the hereafter. This truth sir, is sacrosanct. 


Therefore, sir, I beg to ask. How do you feel conveying the concomitant message of conditional dialogue and genocide from your President to his victims?

Does the said message not greatly contradict the dialogue decided by a respectable continental justice mechanism the African Commission which was endorsed by continental leaders?

Was it not obvious from the Judgment of the African Commission that an international facilitator would be required to oversee the dialogue? And was it not for this reason that it offered to play that role?

In your so-called ongoing dialogue, sir, I did not hear you regret the massacres, the genocide, the crimes against humanity, the war crimes etc. Why?

I did not hear you talk about a transitional justice mechanism to prosecute civilian and military commanders responsible for these atrocity crimes in the Southern Cameroons.

I did not see you feel the pain and suffering of millions of civilian victims of the atrocity crimes. Rather, I heard the evocation and rendition of the typical and resentful CPDM sycophantic war cries and slogans praising the god-president for his promise of mercy for those who lay down arms.

Laying down arms to facilitate the atrocity crimes sir? Those you alleged laid down arms, have the locations from which they allegedly defected been spared the visit of your angels of death and the mayhem they bring to the civilian population? Have they sir? I bey to ask. 

There is a common and recurring position taken by the international community on this war that was declared by LRC. That position is that there should be an inclusive dialogue with no pre-conditions, to tackle to the root causes of this conflict.

From where then did you come about with the exclusion of the so-called secession or separation? Is this pre-condition not a distraction and an attempt to obviate the mandatory root causes of the conflict?

Are the root causes not the umbilical linked violations that eviscerated the Southern Cameroons right to external self determination under the UN Charter guaranteed by UN Resolutions which LRC opposed and opted for annexation and colonial rule? 

The right to resolve this conflict through an internationally organised dialogue in which negotiations will hold sway was obtained through a legal process before a Continental legal mechanism and endorsed by African Leaders.

The international community has overwhelmingly taken the same position with renewed vigour. That position is therefore, not subject to a unilateral modification by LRC.

That sir, is an unacceptable diktat. This unacceptable diktat tantamount once more to a disregard for the international rule of law on the basis on which international legality, peace and security are founded.

Mr Prime Minister, sir, as you pursue this futile adventure to insult the memory of victims, permit me to remind you that the informal meeting of the UNSC on this crisis on 13 May 2019, apart, the celebration on the 23 May 2019 at the UN of the 70 th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions which LRC is a state party, should be a shock reminder to LRC that the spirit of that multilateral treaty and many others is alive.

That LRC place on the radar of the Geneva Conventions will soon be guaranteed, not for the right reasons, but for its atrocity crimes in the Southern Cameroons against civilians who are protected by the convention.

The anniversary ceremony of the 23 May 2019 of the Geneva Conventions 1949 and the ten anniversary of the UN Resolutions for the protection of civilians in armed conflicts should be an opportunity for LRC to seriously consider, calling off this genocidal war and withdraw its soldiers for peace to prevail.

Its military misadventure and atrocity crimes have failed and will continue to fail to tame the spirit of Southern Cameroons freedom seekers who are inspired and emboldened by the justice of their cause, international legality and the pursuit of legitimate self-defense. 

History sir, provides you and the government you serve another opportunity to listen to the voice of humanity and the international community and get to the negotiating table while there is time. Stop the callous slaughter and the genocide now. Your present tour is a celebration of genocide and not dialogue”

Source: nationaltelegraph

Michelle Bachelete the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights after a four days official visit to Cameroon made an appraisal of the Human Rights situation of the country. 
Identifying responsibility in acts of human rights abuses in the North West and South West Regions, Michelle Bachelet said the security forces have been accused of committing serious violations, including extrajudicial killings and torture against civilians and captured fighters in both the North West and South West.

She said in the western (North West and South West) regions schools, hospitals and other key infrastructures have been targeted and destroyed by armed separatist groups. Government employees, including teachers who have dared to continue teaching, have also been targeted.

On a general note the UN Rights Chief welcomes the acceptance of the government of Cameroon to work with the UN Human Rights office and the rest of the UN, to seek effective solutions to the major human rights and humanitarian crisis caused by the serious unrest and violence taking place in North West, South West and the Far North Regions. 
She believes there are windows of opportunities to come out of the crisis which must be backed by substantial and sustained support from the international community including the UN.

Highlighting the fact that Cameroon faces disturbing insecurity in most parts, the UN Rights Chief underscored atrocities such as soldiers and civilians being mutilated and killed, entire villages burned down, and children abducted and forced to join armed groups especially in the context of Boko ha5ram.

Michele Bachelet indicated that she met with opposition party leaders, civil society, church leaders and about eight different Ministers of the Biya regime and President Paul Biya himself. She also confered with some institutions like the National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms and the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.

In all Bachelet offered to provide advice and assistance to Cameroon – similar to the G5 forces in the Sahel – to help ensure that military operations are in compliance with International Human Rights standards and that violations are prevented in their operations.

Michele Bachelot stressed that members of the security forces who commit serious violations should be held accountable.

She condemned the targeting of civilians and the difficulties to access the conflict-hit areas by humanitarian aid and said the solution to the conflict in the North West and South West Regions is dialogue with an in-depth look at the root causes of the problem.

Source: Mimi Mefo Info 

The United States demanded an immediate end to violence in Cameroon on Thursday and a speedy start to talks between the government and Anglophone separatists without preconditions.

U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the Security Council that security and humanitarian conditions in Cameroon’s English-speaking North West and South West regions “have significantly deteriorated.”

October was the most violent month on record in recent years — and November is likely to surpass it, he said.

Hundreds have been killed in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions in months of fighting between the military and separatists who claim they are marginalized in the largely French-speaking country.

“The violence must stop now,” Cohen said. “The United States calls for an immediate and broad-based reconciliatory dialogue, without preconditions. … We urge all sides to foreswear violence, to restore peace, and to resolve their grievances through political dialogue.”

He said the escalating violence is obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid to over 430,000 internally displaced people as well as education and health access to children in rural areas.

Reena Ghelani, director of U.N. humanitarian operations, warned that Cameroon is “one of the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa,” saying that in addition to those who have fled their homes and remain in the country over 30,000 Cameroonians have crossed the border into Nigeria seeking refuge.

The majority of internally displaced Cameroonians “are hiding in dense forests, without adequate shelter and lacking food, water and basic services,” Ghelani said. “Schools and markets are also disrupted and there are alarming health needs.”

“We note with great concern the deteriorating situation with respect to the protection of civilians, including reported killings, burning of homes and villages, extortion and kidnappings in the South West and North West regions of Cameroon,” she said, adding that there have been multiple attacks on schools and threats to students and teachers.

British deputy ambassador Jonathan Allen said the United Kingdom takes Ghelani’s warning very seriously and announced a $3.1 million contribution from the government to the U.N. appeal for the Anglophone regions to address immediate humanitarian and medical needs.

This represents 20 percent of the U.N. appeal, he said, urging other countries to contribute.

Both Allen and Cohen stressed Cameroon’s important role in fighting against the Boko Haram group and other Islamic State extremists.

Cohen noted Cameroon President Paul Biya expressed confidence in his inaugural address on Nov. 6 that “there is an honorable way out in everyone’s interest.”

The United States encourages Biya “to make good on his commitment to accelerate the decentralization process” and implement recommendations of a Cameroonian commission on bilingualism and multiculturalism, Cohen said.

Allen said that “words alone will not improve things” and strongly urged Cameroon’s government to take urgent action to start a dialogue, undertake confidence-building measures, allow humanitarian access throughout the country, and ensure “accountability for all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.”

Source: Foxnews

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The top U.S. diplomat in Africa says the Southern Cameroons could get much worse, saying “the last thing we need” is growing radicalization in response to the actions of security forces.

Tibor Nagy told reporters on Thursday that the situation in the Central African nation is worsening by the day and “worrying me greatly.”

He said the United States calls for dialogue between Cameroon’s government and the Anglophone separatists who sprang up from peaceful protests against the alleged marginalization of English-speakers in the largely Francophone country.

Nagy said he is reminded of neighboring Nigeria, where the government’s “brutal response” to extremism led to growing membership in Boko Haram.

The U.S. diplomat suggested “some form of decentralization” in Cameroon as mentioned in a proposed constitution for the country.

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Source: foxnews

 

As Cameroon-watchers await the official results of this month’s elections amid court challenges, the outcome is highly predictable—victories for the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) and for the long-serving incumbent president, eighty-five-year-old Paul Biya. But the country’s future is utterly uncertain. It is as though Cameroon’s story is diverging in two radically different directions: one in which past is prologue and citizens and external partners find comfort in familiar faces and continuity; and another in which security is elusive, disintegration persists, and Cameroon becomes unrecognizable to those who knew it before.

The October 7 elections were held against a backdrop of increasing instability as the state battles both Boko Haram in the north and Anglophone separatists in the west. Alarmed by reports of horrific extrajudicial killings, and by the displacement of roughly a quarter of a million people, some of Cameroon’s external partners, including the United States, are grappling with tough questions about the wisdom of ongoing security assistance and cooperation. In some areas, voters were too worried about their immediate security to go to the polls. Others have lost faith in the legitimacy of the exercise, and some of the government’s choices, like its embrace of international observers of dubious credibility, suggest there is indeed reason to doubt the integrity of the process.

Those who value a stable partner in Cameroon over the long run should be interested in supporting a third possibility beyond an unsustainable status quo and a descent into chaos—one in which reforms create a more inclusive society, generational change refreshes the ranks of leadership, those responsible for abuse are held accountable for their crimes, and the connective tissue between government and citizens is strengthened by far more than pro forma electoral exercises. Right now, this third path is far more fantasy than reality. It will take a recognition that these election results settle none of Cameroon’s outstanding questions, and strong internal and external support for real political dialogue, to create space for a better future.

Author: Michelle D. Gavin

Source: cfr.org

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