In a letter to UN officials, the World Council of Churches (WCC) urges an end to violence and the violation of human rights in Cameroon.
“Violence broke out in November 2016 in Cameroon’s English-speaking region, the northwest and southwest provinces,” writes Peter Prove, WCC director of International Affairs. “The authorities used lethal force against protestors who were complaining about the use of French in Anglophone courts and schools.”
Since then, the conflict has escalated, resulting in more than 12,000 deaths, although local sources claim the real number could be double that figure. “More than 1,500,000 have lost their homes and become internally displaced,” states Prove.
Prove also notes that, when a UN expert on minority issues visited Cameroon in 2013, she first expressed concerns about violations of the rights of individuals advocating for greater political autonomy or secession for the Anglophone region, and then made a series of recommendations. “We consider that these recommendations have not been implemented, and the situation has greatly deteriorated since her visit,” writes Prove. “All those who have committed human rights violations on all sides should be investigated and held to account for what they have done.”