Inspired by the Cameroon American Council, the civil society organisation Stand Up for Cameroon, which has made it a duty to counter all discriminatory action in the Republic of Cameroon has decided to come up with an awareness campaign for women who have been unjustly incarcerated in the country.
The campaign, it has been said targets women arrested within the context of the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West regions as well as the Boko Haram insurgency in the Far North region.
Stand Up for Cameroon initiative was one of the major pressure groups that sought to force the government’s voice out of silence as to the circumstance that led to the death of Buea based journalist, Samuel Wazizi amongst others.
Stand up for Cameroon initiative notes that in the midst of increased calls for gender equality and the fight against gender based violence, women’s right in Cameroon has come under the spotlight in particular, due to the activities of actors in the Anglophone crisis in the North West and the South West Regions and the Boko Haram insurgencies in the Far North Region.
Stand Up for Cameroon regrets the fact that the present situation in the country with the volatile position of women, the justice system has had no consideration in handling extremely fragile cases. In the Far North Region of Cameroon, there is a case of extreme social injustice shown to a group of three girls who escaped captivity from the Boko Haram in 2014.
They were then arrested and trials have been going on since 2015 on account of espionage.
Their over 5 years of detention has yielded no judgements upon them as their cases have been postponed several times from the time the girls went into detention. During the course of their detention, they were handed death sentences by the Maroua military tribunal, before being cancelled due to the fact that the court however lacked jurisdiction over minors.
Still in the Far North Region, it was there that a video went viral some 2 or 3 years ago showing a woman and her two children being summarily executed by elements of defence forces of Cameroon. In the video, the woman who was carrying a child on her back while holding on to another were shot several times to death. The government and the military tried denying the video, but at the end gave in due to unquestionable evidences.
Down south, women have suffered some ill fate in the midst of the on-going Anglophone crisis. Germaine Dzenjoh, a simple business woman from detention cries out for help after spending unbearable torturous years at the Kondengui prison in Yaounde. Germaine was amongst the over 100 Anglophones arrested and jailed since December 1, 2017. She explains that she was taken arbitrarily from her job site at about 6:30 p.m. by more than 20 armed men.
“They slapped me and took my handbag containing my purse, my phones and my money, then they took all the data processing accessories at my job site, handcuffed me and whisked me off to the police station in Bota, where they asked me to identify some boys i don’t know” Germaine testified. She was then transferred to Kondengui where she has been since 2017.
The Stand Up for Cameroon has sought to end the numerous injustices shown upon women in the Republic of Cameroon. The 10 days campaign falls within the framework of three larger dynamics which involves; bringing the fight to end extreme violence by the government under one umbrella; bringing demands by Anglophones moderates for the short medium and the long term resolution of the conflict under one umbrella and to engage 1000 women for change in Cameroon.
Mimi Mefo Info