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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Anglophone Crisis: UK Wants Cameroon to Partner with United Nations Human Rights Office, to Probe Violations

The United Kingdom has called on the Cameroonian government, through a statement published this Thursday, to work with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to conduct an urgent assessment mission to the Anglophone regions.

On behalf of 38 other nations, the statement, addressed to the United Nations in Geneva, the UK suggested that the government of Cameroon should engage with future regional-led initiatives to find a path towards peace and reconciliation in the North West and South West regions.

The former colonial master of English-Speaking regions of Cameroon, expressed concern, over the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West regions, marked by human rights abuses, violations and high levels of violence including a recent attack on a hospital.

It highlights reports of armed separatists committing kidnaps for ransom, killing non-collaborators, burning schools and committing acts of sexual violence, as well as that of security forces accused of burning villages, shooting unarmed civilians and committing acts of sexual violence.

It further urges Cameroon, to work alongside the international community, including regional partners, to ensure prompt and thorough investigation of all violations and abuses, while expressing their commitment to help, if needed.

Moreover, the UK mission at the UN, clamoured for an inclusive political dialogue to address the root causes of the crisis and called on the government to build confidence towards dialogue and reconciliation by ensuring the timely, fair trial or release of political detainees, and initiating a meaningful dialogue with the participation of all sectors of society, in particular women, the youth and representatives of religious communities.

The humanitarian impact of the Anglophone crisis is worsening, and has led to over 1,000, mostly civilian, deaths, since September 2016. It has displaced 437,000 people from their homes and forced over 32,000 to seek refuge in neighboring countries. They urged both partied at war, to ensure safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to the affected population.

This call, comes after similar statements, from the European Union, the US Assistant Secretary of State and other human rights institutions.