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Anglophone Problem: US May Stop Security Aid To Cameroon 

By Bouddih Adams

Ambazonian Flag Accopmpanying Victim of Strike To The Graveyard

A Member of Congress of the United States of America has requested investigation into the brutality and impunity of Cameroon Government security forces.

Findings may cause the US to stop assistance to Cameroon.

In his letter, Donald M. Payne, Jr. of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States of America tells the Honourable Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary, US Department of State:

“I am concerned by reports of violence in Western Cameroon where the Government has violently cracked down on Anglophone protests and target this community in various ways.

The following allegations are deeply troubling: the disproportionate use of force to disperse demonstrators in Bamenda; the banning of Anglophone activists’ groups; the arrest and criminal prosecution of advocates charged under a broad definition of terrorism; direction by the Cameroonian Government to cut off internet services in the Anglophone Regions for three months, and threats of imprisonment of journalists.”

The Congressman observes that the US has been doling significant security assistance to Cameroon, the last one being as recent as in December 2016 of “at least $ 130 million (about FCFA 75 billion) … to help it counter Boko Haram.”

He asserts that: “The State Department’s most recent annual human rights report on Cameroon states that; “police, gendarmerie and BIR officials reportedly detained and tortured persons.”

He observes that; “The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has implicated the BIR in some of these abuses.”

According to the Congressman, the “Leahy Laws prohibit US security assistance to foreign security forces when there is credible and verifiable information that the recipient unit has committed a “Gross Violation of Human Rights” (GVHR).

If the State Departments concludes that allegations of GVHR by the BIR and other State security forces are factual, and the Department’s human rights report suggests that it has done so in at least several instances, then, it must suspend US assistance to the implicated units.”

The Congressman further requested; “regular updates of steps taken by the US and Cameroonian officials to end security forces abuses and impunity in Cameroon.”

Meantime, images of people including students being brutalised in Buea and Bamenda by State security forces abound as they went viral since the peaceful demonstration of students of the University of Buea and Anglophone lawyers and teachers’ strike that has been on for about eight months now.

The Anglophones are protesting against marginalisation, oppression and suppression by successive Francophone led regimes in the Cameroons and thus requesting for the statehood they had before unification with French Cameroon.