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Cameroon Risk AU Sanctions After Soldiers Brutality On Students 

By Francis Tim Mbom

UB student nursing her injuries

UB student nursing her injuries

The African Union, AU, may sanction Cameroon following the cruel treatment meted on hapless students of the University of Buea, UB, by Cameroon’s security forces.

The security forces on Monday, November 28, subjected the students, mostly female students to torture, molestation and rape, which is contrary to the African Union Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

In its Article 16, the African Union Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child states that: “Children should be protected from all forms of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, especially physical or mental injury or abuse, neglect or maltreatment including sexual abuse.”

But the brutality with which Cameroon’s forces descended on UB students on Monday, beating female students and compelling some to roll in mud is a huge human rights abuse.

At other instances, The Post gathered that the soldiers broke into the living rooms of some students and sexually assaulted them.

Observers have argued that it is unacceptable that parents send their children to the University and the Government cannot protect them. Rather, the State discharges brutes to kick, beat and maim them because the students expressed their views on certain issues they felt were not going right in the University.

Article 7, 8 and 9 of this same Charter gives the children, those under the age of 18, the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of thought and conscience and the right to freedom of expressing their own views on issues.

While the African Union obliges State parties to ensure the respect of these principles, it states clearly in its Article 3 that:

“Every child should be allowed to enjoy the rights and freedoms in this Charter, regardless of his or her race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.”

Meanwhile, some parents have called on the UB Vice Chancellor to immediately issue a condemnation of such untamed brutality on her students and to order the forces off the campus and student residential quarters.

The happenings in UB are reminiscent to those of the University of Yaounde I in early 1991, when Anglophone students rose up to demand for the creation of an Anglo-Saxon university.

This led to the creation of UB. But this creation came after the sacrifice of some students who died in hospital after they were assaulted sexually by Government forces.