By Tata Mbunwe
The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has said human rights violators in Cameroon, just as in other parts of the world, must be held accountable.
Speaking particularly on the crisis in the English-speaking regions, the institution said both separatist fighters and Government soldiers are guilty of gross violations of human rights.
Rights organisations such as CHRDA, HRW, ICG, IRC, and others, have recorded rights violations in the Northwest and Southwest ranging from burning of homes, killing of civilians, kidnappings, boycott of schools, and the killing of health and humanitarian workers, etc, during the four-years long ongoing crisis.
“… those who have abused and violated human rights in Cameroon, as anywhere else in the world, must be held accountable. We continue to monitor the situation closely.”
The institution says the UK Government “is concerned about the crisis in Cameroon” and has so far disbursed €13.5 million (FCFA 8.8 billion) to support humanitarian efforts in the English-speaking regions.
The UK has said the Cameroon Government should organise dialogue to address the root cause of the conflict, adding that the UK Government has also sought partnership from foreign partners such USA and France to help in resolving the conflict.
“We respect the territorial integrity of Cameroon. We continue to urge all parties to remain engaged in ongoing Swiss-led efforts to facilitate talks and remain ready to support all credible peacebuilding efforts,” added UK’s Foreign Office.
The United Kingdom, formerly Great Britain, colonised the English-speaking regions of Cameroon from 1916 to 1961 following a partition during which the other eight regions were placed under the French colonial rule.
Since the outbreak of crisis in the two regions, English-speaking Cameroonians have been expecting the UK to do more than just calling for dialogue like other countries are doing.
Many say the UK owes more responsible to maintain peace in Cameroon than any other foreign country, given its colonial links to the minority English-speaking regions.
Mimi Mefo Info