Canada has said it is deeply concerned about the evolution of the political and security situation in Cameroon, including the ongoing crisis in its Northwest and Southwest regions.
In response to a petitioned filed on the ongoing Anglophone Crisis, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Honourable Chrystia Freeland noted that advancing human rights and democracy are key parts of her country’s foreign policy agenda.
“As it does in countries around the world, Canada fully supports the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly as well as democracy in Cameroon” she stated.
To her, Canada has raised its concerns through public statements made on September 18, 2018, October 24, 2018, and on February 1, 2019. “On September 18, 2018, Canada raised its concerns regarding the continuing violence in the northwestern and southwestern regions of Cameroon and called on all parties to respect human rights and to find peaceful solutions to the crisis”.
During Cameroon’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place on May 16, 2018, Honourable Chrystia Freeland explained, “Canada made the following three recommendations to the Cameroonian government: expressly engage in a sustained dialogue with the representatives of the Anglophone community on the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest of the country to reach a consensual solution that upholds human rights; amend the 2014 anti-terrorism legislation to bring the definition of terrorism in line with international human rights obligations and standards related to human rights, repeal the death penalty, and end the use of military tribunals to try civilians; and take the necessary legal measures, before the next elections, to enable electoral judges to consider as admissible copies of minutes submitted to representatives of parties in polling stations”.
Canada she promised “will continue to work with international partners in joint efforts to find peaceful solutions to the crisis and also seize every opportunity to call for Cameroon authorities to respect human rights, including reminding them of their commitment to follow up on reports of abuses and violations by security forces”.
“Canada will also continue to follow the situation very closely and to strongly promote dialogue as the preferred means of resolving the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon” she added.