Human rights lawyer, Nkongho Felix Agbor has called on the United Nations to intervene in the Anglophone crisis by ensuring perpetrators of crimes are brought to book.
In an opinion piece with Rebecca Tinsley, Nkongho Felix notes that atrocities have persisted for the past three years because “there are no consequences for Cameroon’s government soldiers and radicalized separatist militias’ actions, which have looted and burned homes and schools, while killing and mutilating civilians”.
Recalling that over 20 persons were killed in the Ngarbuh massacre on February 14, Nkongho Felix and Rebecca Tinsley say “only then did the crisis manage to make the news”.
Despite signing numerous UN conventions and promising to uphold human rights, the Cameroon government they add still goes scot free after violating them.
As the UNHRC meets in Geneva at the end of the month, ” it is doubtful that the worsening security situation in Cameroon will be on its agenda. However, the council surely has enough information on what is happening in Cameroon to consider R2P” they note.
“The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Cameroon in May, 2019, and urged the government to hold members of its security forces committing abuses to account. This diplomatic language was echoed by the Council of the European Union. However, it is not just a few rogue elements committing human-rights violations: Cracking down on the English-speaking regions is actually government policy” the duo adds.
The reluctance of international bodies to investigate the atrocities in the restive regions they explain, is another factor prolonging the crisis for “history shows that if the international community lets a government know that the world is paying attention, it can make a difference”.
“Cameroon’s crisis” they urge “should no longer be a grain of sand, but rather a shard of glass in the international community’s collective eye. R2P can save lives and start the path to peace. The reprehensible killings in Ngarbuh demand action”.