395: Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Cameroon - ACHPR/Res. 395 (LXII) 2018

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Commission), meeting at its 62nd Ordinary Session held in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, from 25 April to 9 May 2018;

    Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa under Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter);

    Recalling further its decision in Communication 266/07 - Kelvin Mgwanga Ngume v. Cameroon in which the Commission made recommendations towards the resolution of the Anglophone crisis, including the abolition of all discriminatory practices against people of the North-West and South-West of Cameroon, and the engagement in constructive dialogue in order to resolve the Constitutional issues, as well as grievances that could threaten national unity;

    Bearing in mind its Press Release of 29 January 2018 on the human rights situation in the Republic of Cameroon, in which it called for an end to the use of force against unarmed civilians, respect for the right to freedom of expression and information, freedom of association and assembly, and the right to liberty and security of the person enshrined in the Charter, as well as the initiation of constructive dialogue towards putting an end to the suffering of the population;

    Concerned about the continuous deterioration of the human rights situation in Cameroon, as well as the socio-economic situation,  since October 2016 following brutal crackdowns on peaceful protests by lawyers, teachers and members of civil society of the English-speaking North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon who called for the preservation of the Anglophone legal and educational systems in their regions, an end to marginalisation, and for better management of the regions by the Government of Cameroon in terms of development and infrastructure;

    Deeply concerned about allegations of cases of enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention under deplorable conditions, prohibition of peaceful demonstrations and constant insecurity; leading to the displacement of a significant number of Anglophone Cameroonians to Nigeria and thousands of internally displaced persons since the beginning of the crisis without means of subsistence and access to basic necessities;

    Emphasising that the right to participate in the government of one’s country (Article 13), to dispose of and to benefit from the wealth and natural resources (Article 21), as well as the right to education (Article17), peace and security (Article 23) are guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Cameroon is a party;

    Recalling also that the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration is guaranteed under Article 11 of the African Charter, and that all Cameroonian citizens have to be treated equally without any discrimination (Article 2 of the African Charter);

    Deploring the deterioration of the conflict following protests in the English-speaking regions that are now calling for secession from Cameroon;

    Regretting the loss of many lives among the population and the armed forces;

    The Commission:

    1.      Condemns the various human rights violations committed in the country since October 2016;

    2.     Condemns the continuous repression against human rights defenders;

    3.     Requests that impartial and independent investigations be conducted towards identifying the perpetrators of violations and bringing them to justice;

    4.     Calls upon the various parties to prioritise national harmony and unity, and to refrain from any action that may undermine the main pillars of the Cameroonian society;

    5.     Calls upon all the parties to engage in dialogue towards saving lives and restoring calm, security and peace as soon as possible;

    6.     Decides to undertake a general human rights promotion mission to the Republic of Cameroon, in collaboration with the government authorities.

    Adopted at the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, from 25 April to 9 May 2018

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