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Amnesty: Over 100 English-language protesters arrested in Cameroon

More than 100 people have been arrested during several weeks of peaceful protests against the marginalization of the English-speaking minority in Cameroon, Amnesty International said Thursday.

“It’s an extremely worrying situation. The response of the security forces has been heavy-handed,” Amnesty researcher Stephen Cockburn told dpa.

Earlier this week, three protest leaders appeared in court, pleading not guilty to charges of terrorism and inciting civil war, which are punishable by death in Cameroon.

The case was postponed to March 23.

Protests started in October when residents of Cameroon’s two English-speaking provinces began to demonstrate against the government making less money available to them than to French-speaking areas.

In December, security forces killed five unarmed protesters in the northern city of Bamenda.

Dozens have been injured during the demonstrations with police using “excessive and unnecessary force,” according to Amnesty.

Since mid-January, authorities have shut down the internet in the two English-speaking provinces – North-west and South-west – in an attempt to stop the leaders from organizing further protests.

Cameroon’s regions were divided among French and British colonial powers until they combined to form the Republic of Cameroon in 1961.

Last update: Thu, 16/02/2017 – 15:16 Author: DPA via eblnews

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49 comments

  1. The truth cannot be hidden. The UNSC needs to frown against “black-on-black” colonialism just as hard as was the case against “white-on-black” colonialism in the nineteenth Century. French-speaking La Republique du Cameroun (LRC) is an ally of France and both nations constitute a formidable pair that is bearing down hard on English-speaking Southern Cameroons. The motivation is large petroleum deposits found in Southern Cameroons!

  2. Palava no fine. Reserved

    This information is incomplete, as a news agency, u have the responsibility to do research, varify, edit and publish. As I was reading, I thought I will read more but I was wrong. The government of Cameroon is putting information out there saying it’s a language problem. It’s not a language problem, it is a failed system of government embroiled in greed, marginalization, poor management and corruption. Too me, federalism or secession is not good but I will take either of those anytime. If Biya could just peacefully step down with the Ghogomo,s, the Tchiruma’s, … and let the presidency rotate by candidates from each region within a 5yrs serve and no second terms, then this will be awesome. But right now, I see more killing and no accountability. someone said if u are from the diaspora, going home is risky because people are being kidnap at the airports. So, where we heading? To the 18th century? It’s even going to be more messy if that is happening . Fighting will lead us no where. To end this seige, Biya should do the right thing, take all he was stolen and exit.

    • If you say the problem is not a language problem, then, where did marginalization originated?.Don’t forget the various slogans used on Southern Cameroonians as,” enemy dans la maison, le Blaire.I used to wonder whether you people are afraid to express yourselves.Nobody can eradicate the impact of colonialization.

      • Le biafre.

      • @Rudolf, the problem began when petroleum was found in Southern Cameroons in late sixties. Envy was not necessary because the East Cameroun state was entitled to a large portion on a per capita basis. However, GREED won. East Cameroun leaders figured out a way to put the smaller West Cameroon state out of business through a Yes/Oui vote on 20 May 1972 and a temporal Vice Presidency for a Southern Cameroons politician – post long abolished by LRC leaders. Now, the oil wealth (crude oil sales to the West) flows straight to Mr. Biya. Over $45 billion ( = 27,000,000 million FCFA) since early eighties. The current strike threatens his luxurious living and the source of surplus cash to buy patronage across the country at the expense of democracy, exemplary governance and economic efficiency.

      • Why no one ever said it to me ? People call each other bamilekon , maguida, tchop brook pot, came no go, etc etc in that country and so what?

        • My bro, you’ve totally misunderstood everything.Insulting among brothers and sisters is something normal and natural.The is no people existing any where who do not insult themselves and argue within themselves.This is totally different from marginalization.Marginalization is referred as ill-treatments or maltreatment.
          @MD
          I also disagree with your point, marginalization of the Anglophones didn’t originated from the resources founded in Southern Cameroon.This is were we have to go back to the impact of colonialism.Through colonialism, we became two different people.This is what we have to first of all bear in mind that, we were been transform to two different people through colonialism.We do not need to twisted things, only to hide the truth within us.Marginalization of the Anglophones started immediately after reunification.Language was the main root to the marginalization before any other thing.Why, were the francophone addressing our leaders as “enemy dans la maison, le biafre”.It was because of their language and the difference between both parties.Which was the various cultures cultivated from their colonial masters.If two different people, with two different cultures and two different system of education meet, it’s normal for them to disagree in certain things which may result to conflicts and may likely end in marginalization.

  3. There are some on this forum that should be arrested.

    • Idiotttt! A day will come when power shall elude your brutal bushmen illiterates and you will be rightfully shoved into that thick forest you come from. Pretentious odontol gulping villageoise.

    • Arrest someone for free speech? Le Monde of January 24, 2017 described the situation in Southern Cameroons as a “cultural annihilation project of Ahidjo and Biya” ostensibly designed to francophonize or expand Francafrique without the consent of people affected. Would you arrest the French newspaper Le Monde too? We should all condemn black on black colonialism in the hardest possible terms. It is shameful. Causes enormous suffering of a peaceful people.

      • All you need do is sit in at Minister Issa Tchiroma’s press conference detailing the recent arrests and the impending charges to be brought against them and the conclusion is easy to reach – freedom of speech is a farce! When a thing is given with the right hand and taken back with the left, it is a farce. Cameroonians are to be seen, not heard. Welcome to the Dark Ages.

      • MD@ thanks for the imfo was wandering how the French public took this …..Well the readers of that newspaper pay taxes for a goverment that supports 100s of French cultural centres worldwide,give license to schools abroard with heads who cant speak the local language ,trade ministers ,own shares in companies that ? A treasury with a nice dollop of the african ones and then put sole blame on local leaders ? Whos kidding who ?

        • This is for the people of Southern Cameroons to eventually sue LRC, Mr Biya and Mr Ahidjo for injustices TBD and seek restitution from the respective estates. Disgorgement of illegal wealth can be a possibility to compensate those ill-affected by their regimes. The penalty should be heavy to serve as deterrent.

        • Like the european banks paid in fines to the USA, just ending lately , it is a detterrent to making enormous profits within the mess with Sub prime morgages on USA soil,even though frankly ,the regulatory board of USA should of noticed what was going on when it was actually happening ?

      • So today you take “le monde” as an exemple . We don’t care about wtf le monde says. You are an ibiobio why are you even talking about Cameroun?

    • Hahaha, arrest people for pointing out your stupidity, vanity and mediocrity? There is something called freedom of expression, ever heard of that?

      • Move on mofo.
        Such a bush boy.
        People who are advocating the dislocation of the state should be trailed.
        Like it or not, these are the laws of the land.
        You should be treated as terrorists.

        • Read should be brought to justice..,

        • Nobody has advocated a dislocation of LRC or British Southern Cameroons (BSC). LRC and BSC were federated entities that gained independence from France and the UK on different dates and have internationally recognized borders set in place by the League of Nations and the United Nations. The 2 separate maps were given to the leader of LRC on the 50th anniversary of independent LRC. A federation is permitted by UN Resolution 1541 (xv) between entities and as well as a separation where things do not work out (examples Senegal/Gambia, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Sudan, Ethiopian Federation, Pakistan/Bangladesh, etc.) via a referendum.

  4. Protester? Dites plutot “VANDALS“ ou “TERRORISTS“. Le commisariat & les voitures se sont brulés seuls? les élèves en uniforme ont été brutalisé par qui? les menaces de mort (verbales & écrites) contre des Kamers en majorité ceux appelés “francophones“ ont été proféré par qui?
    Demander la libération de ces truants est signe de peur d‘etre dénoncé COMME INSTIGATEUR. Les libérer est signe d‘irresponsabilité de la part du gouvernement. L‘important est qu‘ils aient un jugement équitable (sans manipulations).

    • A farce par excellence just like sparrowhawk! Whom were you negotiating with before you turned around and arrested them? Doesn’t negotiating with criminals make you a criminal yourself as we often say? What houses or cars did they burn after the last “meeting” failed in fact attempt at bribery and intimidation! 34 years of mediocrity, nepotism, deception is enough!

  5. Kill them all….kill them or inject them with AIDS and send them to England or france…just close the area completely and get everyone there to complete an application form about who they are ..anyone saying I am anglofool or francofool just jail them…death penalty straight away! I wish I was in power tbis nonsense will be over….popol you are again betraying my country KAMERUN

  6. @ Amnesiac or whatever you call yourself.

    Are you aware of what is going on in france?? Are you aware of the Theo story in france who was visited by Holland after policemens brutalised a group of blacks youth and raped one young black man with police matraque?? Are you not ashamed of yourself?? I dont understand why our leaders in africa ate letting these terrorist groups like amnesiac international groom our backyard….they should always find a way to blackmail their leader and make them shut up! Accuse them of pedophilia by setting them up with young girls etc….and blackmail them thus shutting them up!

    • Épée dipanda

      Ah! Is the theo story not your francophone police culture?
      Francophone systems believe citizens exist to serve the state.
      We West Cameroonians believe the state exists to serve the citizens.
      Freedom for Ambazonia!

  7. the remark made by samuel huntington in his book that each time aryans want to protect their interest.they creat an organization and call it international then use it to justify what they want to obtain.what is international in the so called amnesty international?was it created

  8. @Mbappe
    A fool like u should be the first to be arrested or kill

  9. BIYA MUST GO ( BMG) Reserved

    LRC is killing Southern Cameroonians in cold blood because of Ndian oil.
    However, Ndian oil will soon be controlled by Southern Cameroonians themselves and LRC will be forced to look for other sources of Revenue.
    The Soviet Union, was the second most powerful Country on planet earth. She used the Military to enforce a “one and indivisible” Country but failed woefully. LRC should understand that the BIR can NEVER EVER Keep this so-called “Island of Peace” one and indivisible.
    Southern Cameroonians and East Cameroonians are two different “peoples”. The 56 years Experiment has proven that they can NEVER live in peace together. A Referendum supervised by the UN is the only Logical solution to this impasse.

    • BIYA MUST GO ( BMG) Reserved

      The Proconsul of this so-called “Island of Peace”, Okalia Bilai, released prisoners on the 11th of Feb and gave them uniforms to march as UB students.
      After the march past, some of the prisoners disappeared into thin air. Instead of accepting the consequence of his foolish decision and resign, this Proconsul of LRC sent soldiers to Arrest and torture innocent youths in Mile 16 under the guise of searching for the escaped prisoners.
      The de facto Leadership of West Cameroon, the Consortium, should insist that only a UN supervised Referendum could rescue Southern Cameroonians from the evil Hands of this criminal Enterprise known as LRC.

      • BIYA MUST GO ( BMG) Reserved

        Paul Biya will be in Italy on the 20th- 22nd of March.
        Southern Cameroonians in Europe will give this so-called Fon of Fons an unforgettable welcome. The planning committees have already started their preparations.

        ALUTA CONTINUA

        • BIYA MUST GO ( BMG) Reserved

          **** Dialogue Can Only Be In The Presence of UN And UK- Prof. FANSO ****

          Cameroon Veteran Professor of History in a short Public post has weighed into the current crisis plaguing West Cameroon. In a short post, he revealed that dialogue is the way forward but any dialogue that could produce a sustainable solution must be in the presence of UN and UK who were absent during the Foumban 1961 meeting and this dialogue must only lead to a referendum. The veteran Prof wrote:
          The Lawyers began it, the Teachers (of Schools, Colleges and Universities) and Students of the Anglo-Saxon Universities of Buea and Bamenda followed, and the whole population of Anglophone Cameroon angered by decades of marginalization rose in support of the strike. This is because every aspect of the cultural heritage, especially the identity and way of life of the people has been negatively affected under a carefully worked out programme of assimilation by the Francophone-led Government.
          President Biya has finally acknowledged that some concerns raised by the strikers are genuine and that “dialogue” is the way to solve them. Knowing very well that dialogue in Cameroun is always only announced in speeches, I wonder how serious the President can be taken this time. Whatever, dialogue is still the only way forward that can avoid further bloodshed.
          But the dialogue that is likely to produce results that can stand a chance must be around the “Round Table”, in the presence of observers from the UN and the UK (who were absent from Foumban in 1961) as well as the AU. After the agreements have been reached, the people of the North West and the South West only should be consulted in a free and fair referendum about which territoriality (out of the following three) they prefer them to be implemented: (a) Continue in the present union; (b) return to the old two-state federation of 1961; (c) go separate ways and be good neighbors. The last option of course is to balance what the Cameroun Republic of January 1960-September 1961 did for itself in 1984 when it withdrew from the United Cameroon, attempting to drag along with it the unwilling Southern Cameroons
          PROFESSOR VERKIJIKA FANSO

  10. I’m sure the smashing of windows at U C Berkeley, recently, was peaceful. According to Amnesty international.

    So far I gather that teachers and lawyers from certain regions, were unhappy with some elements of government policy. What I don’t understand, is why other segments of society, had to grind to a halt. Do teachers and lawyers also down tools when market traders and transporters have grievances?

    It seems to me that this secession/federalism argument, has become a blackmail tool to be used whenever there are issues in certain regions of the country.

    • Limbe Kid@ strange comment ,,theres enough reading matter in the comments lately ,while the strike is over 3 months , for anyone interested to understand that when legal/ educational and administrative entities are usless to a massive amount of this population ,their opinions do matter ….especially when the areas are swilling with oil and companies are obbliged to do due diligence,transparency extra nowadays .The comments above are ballderdash?

    • Blackmail tool you say! I didn’t know you were such a heartless fellow too. Does all those got killed with live bullets mean anything to you? Why not follow maitre Lisinge and challenge him within London? Africa is a disgrace because of mindsets like yours. Educated autocrat. If it was gay rights you would’ve quoted every law there is in the book yet you see nothing wrong with clamping down on political self determination, free speech violation or internet blackout imposed by the government. Please change that your pseudonym.

      • If you want me to illustrate the difference between people born with a natural condition, and adults who take a conscious decision to disrupt activity, we can debate all day.

        In the meantime, good luck with your political pet project. I simply refuse to buy into the idea, that every member of a marauding mob, has honourable intentions.

    • Épée dipanda

      Massa, I don’t know what your problem is. We will do referendum, if you like La Republique so much, when we vote to leave the evil Union you can remain in La Republique.
      We will build a new society
      We will create a new Ambazonian destiny.

  11. LRC has enough resources of its own including petroleum in undevelopd fields off Kribi. What is happening in Southern Cameroons is a crime against humanity and must stop. The Cameroon federation was illogically crashed in 1972 by LRC, blinded by a dash for Ndian oil and greed. The unitary state cravings by LRC is an effort to legitimize annexation fast and simple, cannot stand international judicial scrutiny. The evidence affirming intent to annex is loud and clear in constitutional manipulations and mal-administration.

    • BIYA MUST GO ( BMG) Reserved

      Mola,

      You are 100% correct.

      LRC is afraid of the Intervention of the UN.
      There is no Union between LRC and SC, let alone a “one and indivisible” Entity.
      Southern Cameroonians should therefore continue with the civil disobidience until the UN intervenes.

      • BIYA MUST GO ( BMG) Reserved

        Biya will visit Italy from the 20th of March – the 22nd of March.
        That is the reason he instructed his kangaroo Military Tribunal to postpone the Show Trial of the West Cameroonian Heros, Barr. Dr. Balla et al., to the 23rd of March.
        Biya does not want this Trial to spoil his visit to Italy.

  12. Cameroon has one of the worst dictator leader, dirty,underdeveloped country in Africa, the people are peaceful,stocked with a rotten, embezzling,corrupt government , ignoring all the slums, the inability to protect and provide basic human necessities to all the people, a country run by one failed life long leader,Biya,who is spending development funds from overseas on the army, and puppet ministers to crack down on any organisation which is trying to oppose the outdated, bias regime, making sure things stay the same for the good of the few greedy people, if change doesn’t happen now, it will, sooner or later,

  13. Our world is a rather strange place to live in. It provides everything and leaves us free to pick and choose. But in choosing, we some times blunder.

    Voices are being raised to kill those terrorists, trial or no trial. Even Minister Issa Tchiroma who should be exuding years of experience, wisdom and restraint seems to gloat over the fate of those in detention.

    Who could have believed that Cameroon’s first post-independent president, Alhaji Ahmadou Ahidjo would be tried and condemned to death by a text he himself signed into law? Fallible mortals!

  14. 17 February 2017 – The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon (English-speaking Cameroon), including reported arbitrary arrests, abductions, extra-judicial killings, involuntary disappearances, rape, torture and inhumane treatment of detainees, trial of civilians by military tribunals, shut down of internet services and the shutdown of schools (since November 2016).

    Download this press statement in PDFBy its actions and omissions, the government of Cameroon has failed to protect its citizens and as such stands in violation of the obligations imposed upon it by the Preamble to the Constitution of Cameroon which among others guarantees the right to life; freedom from torture; cruel and inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment; right to liberty and security of person; right to fair hearing; freedom of expression; and freedom of association and assembly. As a member of the African Union, Cameroon is also obliged to give effect to these rights as enshrined in article 4 (the right to life), article 5 (the guarantee against torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment), article 6 (the right to liberty and security of the person), article 7 (the right to a fair trial), article 9 (freedom of expression), article 10 (freedom of association) and article 11 (freedom of assembly) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

    ?The Centre recalls that the former Chairperson of the African Union, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, had issued a statement on 18 January 2017, in which she noted the “loss of lives and destruction of property that have taken place in some cities and towns in the two [English-speaking regions] of Cameroon.” She further expressed concern at the “closing of schools and medical facilities, as well as acts of violence, arbitrary arrests and detention of individuals suspected of participating in the demonstrations.” Dr. Dlamini-Zuma’s statement called for “restraint” and urged the government of Cameroon to initiate a dialogue “in order to find a solution to the social, political and economic issues motivating the protests.” She also reiterated the “AU’s support for the respect of the rule of law, and the right to peaceful demonstrations which are critical tenets of democracy.”

    The Centre reminds the government of Cameroon of the 2009 decision of the African Commission in Mgwanga Gunme & 13 Others v Cameroon, where the African Commission held that the government of Cameroon had no justification to subject persons to torture, cruel and inhuman treatment or punishment even in cases of public emergencies, and that the state has an obligation to guarantee the right to freedom of assembly while maintaining law and other; that persons arrested should be tried within a reasonable time; and noted that the trials of civilians by military tribunals were in violation of the African Charter. In this decision, the Commission called on the government of Cameroon to abolish discriminatory practices against and to cease numerous violations of the people of the North West and South West of the country. It also identified some roots causes of concern, including the violation of the right to development of the people of this region.

    The Centre for Human Rights makes the following call:

    In the light of the urgency of the situation, the daily loss of life and potential threat to international peace and security, the Centre makes the following call:

    The government of Cameroon must immediately halt the on-going military operations in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, withdraw the army, restore internet services and desist from any further actions that may worsen the human rights plight of the inhabitants of these two regions. On the longer term, it should take steps to address the underlying roots of the conflict.The African Union Commission should investigate the alleged violations of human rights and bring the perpetrators to justice. Its Peace and Security Council should prioritise the situation, and consider what appropriate steps should be taken to remedy the government’s apparent unwillingness to protect its own population.The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights should conduct an on-site visit to the English-speaking regions of Cameroon in line with its mandate under the African Charter, and hold a public hearing and deliberations during the upcoming Ordinary Session of the Commission in Niamey, Niger, focusing on the atrocities alleged to have been perpetrated in Cameroon. It should, in particular, hold a public hearing on the extent of compliance by Cameroon with the Commission’s 2009 decision in the Gunme case.The UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council (particularly because Cameroon is a former UN trust territory) as well as the British and French Governments (the former colonial powers) should prevail on the government of Cameroon to stop the military operations and engage in dialogue with the English-speaking citizens of the country. Given the long history of this problem and in order to ensure a peaceful and long term solution, the Centre suggests that the Secretary General of the UN, through the Special Representative to Central Africa, Mr Francois Lounceny Fall, and the Security Council, in consultation with the AU, should appoint a special mediator to facilitate the negotiations for a permanent solution to the problems.The Government of South Africa should add its weight and voice to those of the UN and the AU and use the relevant diplomatic avenues to bring pressure to bear on the government of Cameroon to stop all forms of human rights violations being committed against the English-speaking citizens of Cameroon.

    In order to prevent a deterioration of the current situation in Cameroon into one of anarchy, chaos and armed conflict that could threaten international peace and security, concrete measures must be put in place immediately. Appropriate positive steps must be taken to ensure that the rights of the people of the English-speaking regions are respected, protected and fulfilled and grievances resolved through constructive dialogue and other relevant political and legal avenues.

    For more information, please contact:

    Prof Frans Viljoen
    Director
    Centre for Human Rights
    University of Pretoria
    Tel: (012) 420 3228

    • Nonsense! They are more concerned about the human rights of the Southwest and Northwest regions when they openly despise the Africans whose land they sequestered.

      • Ras Tuge, do you know the record of prof. Frans Viljoen? Neighbour, find out before writing. Not all European Africans supported Apatheid. Black Africans too implement Apartheid in discriminatory employment. The record is terrible. Both unelected governors in Southern Cameroons are francophones. Of the 13 counties or divisions in Southern Cameroons, can you imagine that 11 are headed by francophone SDOs? The police and gendarmes too are mostly headed by francophones in all 13 counties. The government is saying the ruling class shall be Francophones! Data does not lie.

        • Always the same monkeys voming here trying to confuse elites fighters like Ras and myself and Bah Acho…listen we speak of intitutions you take one or few examples of individual that always at end benefit from that racist white man institution and try to make us again feel victims and passif…go to hell..shame on you..you dont deserve to procreate in africa go aways please not time for monk like you

        • AG tu es un broussard , c est le complexe qui de derange. Combien de ministres et premiers ministres sont issus de ces provinces? What is their legacy?

        • Uhmmmm frog. Now u c AG e everywhere! Paranoia has a cure. Look for it!!!

  15. Épée dipanda

    Na by force?
    We no want again oh!
    Nous on aime la brousse!
    Ambazonia for ever

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