Weeks ago, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration accused NGOs in the country of assisting armed groups fighting government soldiers in the North West and South West Regions.
Apart from treating separatist fighters, Minister Atanga Nji said NGOs were also supplying arms to the groups.
After a series of attacks including the Ngarbuh massacre that saw many pointing accusing fingers at government forces, the Territorial Administration boss has once more resumed his war of words with NGOs.
In a press conference today, the Minister praised what he said was the bravery of the defence forces in the face of the three-year long Anglophone crisis.
“We have seen defence and security forces giving healthcare to the population, victims of barbaric actions of the terrorists, distributing food items to those in distress and even cleaning the streets of huge garbage that Hysacam would have cleaned if not of threats on their lives and equipment by the terrorists,” he said.
Despite giving NGOs and human rights bodies “verifiable facts”, the Minister said they have voluntarily decided to set their own agenda. Accusing them of having received over FCFA 5 billion, the Minister expressed his dissatisfaction, saying it “is simply unacceptable! These teleguided NGOs and Human Rights Associations must readjust before it becomes too late.
The government of Cameroon vehemently condemns this irresponsible behaviour of teleguided NGOs, who deliberately minimise the numerous atrocities committed by terrorists in the North West and South West Regions”.
Minister Atanga Nji, to the surprise of many, went ahead to name some of these NGOs he said are “teleguided NGOs paid to tarnish the image of Cameroon, publish fake reports against the National defence forces” including “Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Crisis Group, OCHA, REDHAC and others.”
Reminding NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, CSO and human rights bodies that they are compelled to submit annual reports to his ministry, Atanga Nji said “these annual reports, must contain details of the funds received each year, the identities of donors and how the funds are used in Cameroon. We need to know the beneficiaries of their activities who must not, on any occasion, be terrorists who have been disrupting public order.”
“For two years, MINAT has not received any report from NGOs, even those of the UN System. Before making press declarations, NGOs have the obligation to submit annual reports to MINAT. It is also important to note that these annual reports must take into account information communicated to the public by government through its spokesperson, the Minister of
Communication or by the Minister of Defence and MINAT’s reports on the humanitarian activities,” the furious minister added.
Lauding Cameroon’s democracy, Atanga Nji made mention of new opposition faces voted into power in the February twin polls including Cabral Libii, Paul Eric Kingué, Pierre Kwemo, Serge Espoir Matomba, and Pastor Afanwi.
“Paradoxically, the political actor whose liberation was much clamoured for by diplomats decided to boycott the electoral process” he said, in what has been interpreted as a reference to the MRC’s Maurice Kamto.
Regarding the Galim and Bamenda attacks over the weekend, he also stated that “two well-known terrorists, Ayaba Cho and Tapang Ivo living in total impunity abroad and in friendly countries have claimed responsibility for these attacks.”
Noting that NGOs and human rights groups have failed to condemn these attacks, Minister Atanga Nji told journalists “the silence of these NGOs in the face of such atrocities committed against our defence forces and citizens is suspicious and it is clear proof of connivance with terrorists. Divine Justice will catch up with plotters, even after retirement. Their consciences will live to judge them.”
“I want to believe that this statement constitutes a new beginning and that NGOs and Human Rights Associations will henceforth work in the strict respect of their declared objectives and not with hidden agendas” the angry minister said
“I give NGOs 60 days to submit to my services, notably the Department of Political Affairs, their annual reports of 2017-2018 and 2018-2019” he ended.