Thursday, March 7, 2019

Anglophone Crisis: U.S. and Europe Turn Up the Heat on Cameroon Government

The international community continues to pressure President Paul Biya and his government to respect human rights and address the security crisis in the country. On March 4 and 5, the Donald Trump's Assistant Secretary General for African Affairs Tibor Nagy and Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the arrest of Maurice Kamto, the leader of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon, and several of his supporters is politically motivated.

Nagy, currently on an African tour that will take him to the DR Congo, told RFI that the Cameroonian government "must ensure that Maurice Kamto has been arrested and jailed for legitimate reasons. I really think it would be very wise to release him".

"Because, whether true or false, he is perceived to have been incarcerated for his political activities and that is unacceptable. He and his activists must be released". Regarding the situation in the North West and South West, Nagy said that the Cameroonian authorities need to be "more serious in their management of the Anglophone crisis".

He said the "symbolic" actions so far are not enough to solve the crisis.

Mogherini issued a statement: "The arrest and prolonged detention of several leaders of an opposition party, including its leader Maurice Kamto, and a large number of protesters and supporters, as well as the opening of disproportionate proceedings against them in a military tribunal, increases the political tension in Cameroon. The rule of law calls for fair trial and the release of detainees against whom evidence can not be presented."