Eleven groups and organisations in the world have penned a strong worded letter to US Secretary of State.
In the two page document signed April 6, 2021, signatories of the letter are calling on Hon. Antony Blinken to use his office and Joe Biden’s administration in the USA to champion the move towards ending an over four-year armed conflict in the anglophone regions of Cameroon.
“End US arms sale and military assistance to the Cameroon government as there are ample pieces of evidence that arms provided by USA have been used to commit atrocities on civilian population in anglophone Cameroon”.
This is the prominent demand made in the letter as a step towards ending the armed conflict.
Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative , Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiation, Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organisation et al signing the document want USA to initiate an immediate ceasefire to allow access for humanitarian assistance to needy persons affected by the crisis in anglophone Cameroon and to protect humanitarian workers from attacks by the military and separatist fighters.
With a bloody armed conflict that has affected over three million people in anglophone Cameroon,1.4 million in need of humanitarian assistance as stated by the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs as of November 30, 2020, signatories of the letter want the US to engage the African Union and United Nations organs to help address the conflict.
To end the conflict, US has been challenged to engage her allies notably France in the process of urging warring fractions to negotiate for peace. To achieve this, human rights groups, organisations,humanitarian and faith based groups writing the letter say US should name a special envoy to facilitate the work of State department to led peace talks .
While sourcing on how to end the conflict, they have expressed the need to deter people and groups from committing further atrocities by calling on the UN Human Rights Council to investigate cases of massacre, atrocities and gross human rights abuses in Cameroon and hold perpetrators either in the government or separatist groups accountable.
As concern the situation of anglophone Cameroonians seeking asylum in the southern border of Mexico with USA, signatories have expressed the need for US to grant them a Temporary Protection Status (TPS). They add that these Cameroonians represent the highest number of Africans fleeing conflict, torture and persecution. They regret that most of asylum seekers deported by the administration of Donald Trump in 2020 are facing abuses back home.
With more than three hundred villages burnt in anglophone Cameroon, thousand of civilians killed, over 711.000 people internally displaced as of November 30th 2020, there is a need for Hon. Anthony Blinken; US secretary of State to take urgent action. They, however, congratulate Hon. Blinken for “… a focused statement about democracy and human rights in Cameroon and Africa “.