Concerned Cameroonian pro-democracy activists met at three venues in the world earlier this week, to launch a global initiative meant to advocate for international intervention to halt ongoing human rights violations in the country.
The activists thronged venues in Johannesburg (South Africa), Geneva (Switzerland) and New York (USA) to launch the Global Initiative, a multi-pronged approach meant to pressure President Paul Biya’s administration to end the military brutality.
International human rights watchdogs that include Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have over the past few weeks published harrowing details of events in which the Cameroonian military fired indiscriminately at civilians. Many have reportedly been killed, while more than 200,000 are said to have been displaced during the last few months, during clashes between Biya’s government and members of the English-speaking part of the country, who are fighting for the separate state of Ambazonia.
The United States government said earlier this week it was scaling back on its security assistance with Biya’s government, emphasizing the need to for the ruling elite to show greater transparency in investigating credible allegations of gross violations of human rights by the security forces, particularly in the Northwest, Southwest, and Far North Regions.
Last summer, Amnesty International released an analysis of two videos that appeared to show Cameroonian security forces executing unarmed people, including children, in the country’s far northern region.
Patrick Ayuk, Director of Sam Soya Center for Democracy and Human Rights (SSCDHR), told Southern Express News Friday that the press conferences, held Thursday, marked the launch of the Global Initiative by faith leaders and non-governmental organisations and peace and human rights groups.
“The press conferences were held to call on the UN Human Rights Council to immediately send a high-level fact-finding delegation to stop the ongoing military brutality and other forms of violence in Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia),” said Mr Ayuk.
“The Johannesburg conference took place at Christ the King Cathedral in Berea. The coalition remains a non-partisan force focusing on an immediate end to violence and ultimately lead to a peaceful exercise of self-determination of Human Rights, consistent with international declaration of human rights.”
He said the coalition would be submitting a petition during the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that will be held in Geneva on February 25.
Author: Mxolisi Ncube