The United Nations Human Rights Chief has in a recent speech called on the Cameroon government to make every effort to de-escalate the conflict in the Anglophone regions and to allow unimpeded access to human rights monitors so that accurate information on the situation can inform constructive engagement on the way forward.

Zeid Raad Al Hussein was speaking at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council on March 7, 2018 where he cited the conflict in Cameroon and its outcome for over 2 years now.

“In Cameroon, what appears to be long-standing structural discrimination in the Anglophone region of the country has led to continuing clashes between security forces and separatist groups . The arrest, in Nigeria, of 47 Anglophone community leaders, and their extradition to Cameroon has reportedly led to renewed violence in the south-west and north-west of the country”.

Mr. Zeid Raad admitted to allegations of summary executions of civilians by members of the security forces in Cameroon which are generating widespread resentment but regrets that his office was yet to be granted access to monitor rights violations.

“Allegations of summary executions of civilians by members of the security forces have been reported, and are generating widespread resentment. I regret that my Office has not been given access to verify these allegations. Acknowledging the complex challenges facing the authorities including renewed displacement from the Central African Republic and the increase in Boko Haram attacks in the north I urge the Government to make every effort to de-escalate the conflict in the Anglophone regions, and to allow unimpeded access to human rights monitors so that accurate information on the situation can inform constructive engagement on the way forward“.

Would the Cameroon government heed to his call?

For over two years now, the Anglophone regions have suffered unrest with several deaths recorded both on the side of the military and civilians.

The regions remained under a prolonged curfew which is occasionally punctuated with guerilla attacks by armed separatists on members of the security forces especially at checkpoints and around the suburbs.

Anglophones say the over 50 years union with their French speaking counterparts has yielded little or nothing.

They opt to secede to a federal republic which they now name “Ambazonia”.

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