ACHPR/Res. 511 (LXIX) 2021: Resolution on the continuing Violation of Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Cameroon

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The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Commission) meeting at its 69th Ordinary Session held virtually from 15 November to 5 December 2021;

Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples' rights in Africa under Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Charter);

Further Recalling its previous press statements published since its promotional Mission to Cameroon from 1 to 7 February 2011, asking all parties to hold a constructive and inclusive dialogue to end human rights violations in the country, as well as independent and impartial investigations on the alleged human rights violations including extra judicial killings; enforced disappearances; cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and  also requesting a general mission of promotion of human rights ;

Further Recalling the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Charter) concerning the protection of the right to life, respect for human dignity, prevention of torture, prevention of extrajudicial and arbitrary executions, and protection of children’s rights;

Conscious of the relevant provisions of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child on ensuring the survival, protection and development of the child, protection and care of children affected by armed conflict, protection and special assistance for children deprived of their family environment;

Recalling Resolution ACHPR/Res. 395 (LXII) 2018 on the Human Rights Situation in Cameroon; and ResolutionACHPR/Res. 405 (LXIII) 2018 on the Continuing Human Rights Violations in the Republic of Cameroon adopted at its62nd Ordinary Session and 63rd Ordinary Session respectively;

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, in particular, about allegations of unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings; beatings, harassment, especially reports received about killing of children in schools in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, as well as killing of women;

Bearing in mind the Commission's role under Article 45, paragraph 1 (b) of the African Charter, which requires that "principles and rules are formulated and established to resolve legal problems affecting the enjoyment of human and peoples' rights and fundamental freedoms on which African governments can base their legislation;"

Also bearing in mind Cameroon’s obligations under the African Charter; the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol); the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and all other human rights instruments the State has ratified;

The Commission:

1.   Reiterates its Condemnation to all forms of violations of rights to which civilians, in particular women and children have been directly or indirectly subjected in the context of the current crises in the Anglophone regions Cameroon;

2.   Encourages the Government to work towards a more peaceful solution to the ongoing crises in order to protect the lives of the civilian population and restore unity and peace to the country;

3.   Calls on the Government to undertake institutional reforms to remedy  what has been dubbed as the Anglophone problem, as well as engage in Dialogue with various actors with the objective of a lasting resolution to the problem;

4.   Calls on the Government to ensure respect for its international obligations under the African Charter; the Maputo Protocol; the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and other human rights instruments the State is party to;

5.   While recognizing steps taken by the Government to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed human rights abuses, including the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into some of the killings; a National Commission for Bilingualism and Multiculturalism; recruitment of more Anglophone magistrates and bilingual teachers; calls on the Government to authorize a Fact-finding Mission into the country, to enable the Commission ascertain the violations alleged.

Done virtually, on 5 December 2021.