Cameroon’s long-serving President, Paul Biya has charged the country’s army to exercise restraint in process of maintaining law and order.
He was speaking in tonight’s traditional end of year speech.
The president had meanwhile congratulated security forces for the job they are doing especially in the North West and South West regions against separatist militias.
In carrying out their task, he said, they should ensure the respect of human rights.
“I encourage them to keep it up and remain a republican force that respect human rights…” The president said.
This comes at a time when the country is ranked sub saharan Africa’s second worst jailer of journalists.
His words also come within the context of several accusations of the army of grave rights abuses in the Far North where it faces Boko Haram and in the Anglophone regions where it faces separatist fighters.
Among complaints, are the systematic burning of villages, extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests and incommunicado detention, as well as gory stories of torture.
Calling on the forces to respect human rights also comes as a surprise to many, as the forces user the president’s watch have been protected as government has often insisted that they remain professional, even in he face of blatant rights abuses.
Mimi Mefo Info