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Cameroon – UN Report: Paul Biya pinned by the UN on his mismanagement of the country

Written by Gisele Alba

The Anglophone crisis, the war against Boko Haram and the humanitarian situation in Cameroon are the main facts that UNOCA has focused on in its annual report to the UN Security Council.

The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) has published a new report on the security and political situation in Central Africa over the past six months. It thus responds to a requirement of the UN Security Council urging to report annually on the situation in the countries of the subregion.

The 20-page document will be presented to the Security Council today, Wednesday, 13 June 2017 by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UNOCA, François Louncény Fall.

The Anglophone crisis, the war against Boko Haram and the humanitarian situation in Cameroon are detailed. Regarding the first topic, this report, the twelfth of its kind, describes clashes between populations and security forces as well as general strikes in the Northwest and South West regions following corporate challenges by lawyers and teachers.

The government’s efforts to appease tensions have failed. On 17 January she banned the activities of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) and the separatist movement Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), accusing them of carrying out actions contrary to the Constitution and seeking to undermine State’s security. 

She also arrested CACSC leaders Felix Agbor -Balla and Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, on Jan. 17, and journalist and activist Mancho Bibixy on January 20. All three will have to face charges of terrorism and, if convicted, face the death penalty under the anti-terrorism law of February 2014, “the report said.

The same document highlights the measures taken by the head of state Paul Biya to resolve the Anglophone crisis in a sustainable way. These include the creation of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism and the appointment of its officers; Opening a dialogue to respond to the demands of Anglophone teachers and lawyers; The creation of a section of the common law at Enam and the English-language faculties in several universities; The redeployment of magistrates according to linguistic criteria and the appointment of additional English-speaking magistrates to the High Court of Justice.

These measures were deemed insufficient by the striking lawyers and the CACSC management, who continued to demand the immediate release and amnesty of detainees and the restoration of Internet services in both regions. These services were reinstated on 20 April, “the report said.

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Gisele Alba

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