A delegation of the Cameroon Bar Association headed by Bar Council President Mbah Eric Mbah has met with the minister of foreign affairs, Le Jeune Mbella Mbella as part of efforts implored to find solutions to the situation of more than 400 Cameroonian law students frustrated in Rwanda, a press release from the Cameroon Bar Association has said.
The press release signed September 15, 2023, by Me Moussa Ganava, deputy secretary of the Cameroon Bar states:
“The president of the Cameroon Bar Association informs Cameroonian advocates and students of the Institute of Legal Practice and Development, ILPD, Rwanda that he was invited to a working session by His Excellency the Minister of External Relations which focused on the situation of our compatriots who are candidates of the Rwandan Bar Exam.”
The working session addressed the situation with proposed solutions to salvage the situation described by victims as ‘frustrating’
“During the working session, deliberations focused on the reasons for the massive exodus of Cameroonian students to Rwanda in search of training to become advocates and the solutions to be envisaged in the short term to remedy the situation.”
Assuring the students to have trust in the institutions of the Republic to find a solution to their problem, the press release further reads,
“At the end of these discussions recommendations were formulated and addressed to the attention of the highest authority of the Republic”
The Bar Council President was accompanied during the high-level meeting by the general assembly President, Barrister Kouamo Yves Kless, Bar Secretary, Barrister Ngo Minyogog Anne Yolande, Representative of the Bar President for Center, South and East regions, Barrister Fouegoum Younta Douanla Adeline, Representative for external relations, Barrister Tamo David and the deputy secretary Barrister Moussa Ganava.
SITUATION OF CAMEROONIAN LAW STUDENTS IN RWANDA.
In August this year, Cameroonian law students in Rwanda cried out after being excluded from the Rwandan Bar exams over non-compliance with reciprocity by Cameroonian authorities.
“Over 200 of them have not been allowed to register for the Bar exam because of the reciprocity and the unwillingness of the minister of Justice to go to Rwanda and meet his counterpart,” one of the law Students told MMI.
A convention between Rwanda and Cameroon on law practice is inexistent making it difficult for them to sail through.
“The Rwanda Bar Laws indicate as one of the conditions Sine qua non for entry, that foreigners may only practice as advocates in Rwanda based on reciprocity. what this means simply is that if Cameroonians must be admitted to practice as advocates here in Rwanda, Rwandans too should be able to be admitted to practice as advocates in Cameroon, and as of now, the Cameroonian Bar law hasn’t made any provision for that,” he said.
Some candidates MMI gathered attempted to submit without reciprocity inclusive but had their files all rejected.
As part of efforts to proffer a solution to the issue, “The president of the Cameroon Bar visited the Rwanda Bar some few weeks back and we were all hopeful for a positive outcome to resolve the situation but ever since his return nothing has been said or done and today happens to be the last day for the deposition of files”
In the past MMI gathered that” the Rwandan Bar has been admitting Cameroonians to practice on the basis that something will be done on the part of Cameroon to resolve the situation but to date, nothing has been done.”
The students have already missed this year’s exams.
It is hoped that something will be done after the September 14, 2023 meeting between Cameroon’s foreign minister and the Cameroon Bar Association.