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Ambassador Wants Respect Of Human Rights 

By Yerima Kini Nsom & Nadege Lekungha Sama*

The German Ambassador to Cameroon, Reinhard Buchholz, has called on government to ensure the respect of human rights and the prevention of conflicts in order to give the leeway for sustainable development. Reinhard made the appeal in Yaounde, October 4, during celebrations marking the 20th Anniversary of the Reunification of Germany and the 61st birthday of the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The occasion brought together a cross-section of the German community, diplomats and government officials among others to the Yaounde Hilton Hotel. The Ambassador harped on the fruitful bilateral cooperation between Cameroon and Germany, saying it was incumbent on all their partners to respect the engagements taken within the ambit of several international conventions like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Cotonou Agreement.

“The respect of human rights should not be a fair weather affair,” the Ambassador said. He said human rights should be respected even when there are uprisings in the society as well as during electoral periods. Such a premise, he said, ensures that the citizens’ rights to associate and express themselves freely are protected.

The diplomat underscored the importance of the press in the society. Hear him: “Responsible media can only be a reflection of the society; they are the mirror of the society. That is why they denounce poor policies or bad governance, for example corruption, the obstruction or destruction of the mirror does not change the poor policy.”

The German envoy said his country has a soft spot for Cameroon given the historic and warm bilateral ties both countries have enjoyed for several decades. That is why, he intimated, Cameroon is in a comfortable position within the sphere of German Cooperation in Africa. 
Germany, he said, has stood in support of Cameroon in its development efforts since its independence.

He acknowledged that Cameroon is endowed with natural, human and economic resources.
In the words of the Vice President of the World Bank, Obliageli Ezekwesili, “To mobilize these riches, Cameroon must pass from talks to actions.”  In this perspective, Reinhard said his country was ready to help Cameroon realize concrete actions in its development endeavours.

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Twenty years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and 61 years after the foundation of the Federal Republic of German, Reinhard said they were living in a peaceful democratic state.
To him, the rule of law, the respect of human and political rights are taken for granted in Germany.

He said Germany is living in peace with her nine neighbours for the first time in history. The relations between France and Germany, he claimed, were particularly close.
Going by the diplomat, the peaceful German unification has shown that even hopeless situations can be overcome by negotiation and dialogue. He added that the reunification emanated from the people and not government.

“The people of the Communist German Republic (which was not democratic at all) wanted to get rid of the repressive system under which they had to live since the end of World War II. Peacefully, but with determination, they forced the hand of the East German government to open the border to West Germany. And indirectly they achieved that the West-German government accepted the unification at their pace,” Reinhard narrated. 

The will of the people, he continued, had gained the upper hand over millions of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of internal security agents which were meant to cement the status quo.
The Ambassador said German unification and the disappearance of military blocs in Europe were achieved without bloodshed.

German unification, the diplomat opined, cannot be separated from the establishment of the European Union. A cross-section of the Cameroonian authorities, including the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Alain Edgar Mebe Ngo’o, the Minister of External Relations, Henri Eyebe Ayissi, and the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary among others attended the occasion. One Cameroonian artist, Jacques Greg Belobo, thrilled the hearts of those present by singing the national anthems of both countries.

*(UB Journalism Student On Internship)

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