Cameroon: Clear ‘window of opportunity’ to solve crises rooted in violence – Bachelet

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Refugees from Nigeria arrive in the Cameroonian village of Goura in January 2019 following armed attacks by extremists.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The UN human rights chief on Monday welcomed Cameroon’s willingness to cooperate over finding workable solutions to “major human rights and humanitarian crises”, caused by months of serious unrest and violence across the west and north of the country.

The announcement came after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, concluded a visit to the West African country. During three days of meetings and consultations in the capital, Yaoundé, she met President Paul Biya to discuss the human rights challenges facing the country, and initiatives the Government has taken to deal with them, as well as their broader linkages with peace, security and development.

“I believe there is a clear – if possibly short – window of opportunity to arrest the crises that have led to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, as well as the killings and brutal human rights violations and abuses that have affected the northern and western areas of the country,” Ms. Bachelet said in a statement.

Warning that it will not be an easy process, Ms. Bachelet stressed that “it will take significant actions on the part of the Government, and substantial and sustained support from the international community – including us in the UN.”

With ten or more separatist movements in the North-West and South-West region, the situation could spiral “completely out of control, if measures are not taken to reduce tension and restore trust”, said Ms. Bachelet underlining that it’s essential to tackle root causes of violence, for the sake of long-term stability.

Reported cross-border incursions by armed groups and criminal organizations along Cameroon’s border with the Central African Republic (CAR), as communities continue to be terrorized and attacked by Boko Haram, and other extremist organizations, are a persistent challenge.

Cameroon is also hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria.

“In several regions, civilians and soldiers have been killed and mutilated, and entire villages have been burned.  Children have been abducted and forced to join the armed groups and have even been utilized as unwitting suicide bombers by Boko Haram”, she said.

“In the two western regions, schools, hospitals and other key infrastructure has been targeted and destroyed by the various separatist groups; and government employees, including teachers who have dared to continue teaching, have been targeted and killed or abducted”, the statement said.

With everyone – Government, opposition and civil society – in agreement that Cameroon is facing the most serious set of crises it has seen in years, and that they need to come to an end as soon as possible, the statement added that “everyone can make important contributions to a drive for peace, if they can discuss options openly and freely.”

The UN human rights chief also offered to provide advice and assistance to the Government, to help ensure military operations are in compliance with international human rights standards and violations are prevented, when military forces are engaged in counter-terrorism operations and combat against armed groups.

Saying that this was a first step to the restoration of peace and security, Ms. Bachelet concluded that “the stakes are high, not just for Cameroon itself, but for the whole region.”







the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How Japan became the world leader in floating solar power

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

8 fascinating and fearsome frontiers of science you should know about

How trade wars pose a threat to the global economy

Sponsored content: when QUALITY meets OPEX in manufacturing

Afghanistan: UN condemns blasts that leave 8 dead at cricket stadium

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

A Sting Exclusive: “One year on from the VW scandal and EU consumers are still in the dark”, BEUC’s Head highlights from Brussels

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

Women’s work faces the greatest risk of automation, says new research

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

Does the world have strong enough institutions to handle risks like Trump and Brexit?

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

International trade statistics: trends in first quarter 2019

What did we learn from COP25?

Mark Zuckerberg will be at the European Parliament today to meet President Tajani and the political group chairpersons

This project is turning abandoned fishing gear into volleyball nets

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

This top-10 of business risks misses the biggest of them all: climate change

Big impact vs big exit: the social side of the start-up game presented at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna

New Syria fighting represents ‘giant powder keg’, warns aid veteran, as he leaves UN stage

AI can wreak havoc if left unchecked by humans

Gig economy: Employment Committee MEPs want to boost workers’ rights

Migration and asylum: EU funds to promote integration and protect borders

The EU parliamentary elections, explained

Four lessons for a successful switch to value-based healthcare

In Rwanda, high-speed drones are delivering blood to remote communities

Why forensic science is in crisis and how we can fix it

How dearly will Germany pay for the Volkswagen emissions rigging scandal

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

Darfur peace process at a ‘standstill’ as demonstrations against Sudanese Government continue

Venezuela must guarantee judicial impartiality – UN human rights expert

Philippe de Backer of ALDE at European Business Summit 2015 stresses: “Reinvent your business”

Raw materials: Commission launches new online portal to support responsible sourcing in businesses

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

Guinea-Bissau needs ‘genuinely free and fair elections’ to break cycle of instability

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

Security Council hails ‘historic and significant’ joint peace declaration by Ethiopia and Eritrea

Schengen: MEPs ready for negotiations on temporary checks at national borders

Why David Cameron’s large victory in UK elections will not pursue a ‘Brexit’

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

The racial wealth gap in the US is affecting its citizens and its economy – this is how

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

European Union disenchanted with Turkey

Conflict, climate change among factors that increase ‘desperation that enables human trafficking to flourish’, says UN chief

Nearly two million Cameroonians face humanitarian emergency: UNICEF

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

‘Preserve, revitalize and promote’ indigenous languages, or lose a ‘wealth of traditional knowledge’, UN chief says

Draghi’s negative interest rates help Eurozone’s cohesion

Eurozone 2013: Where to?

The EU responds to US challenges by fining Apple with €13 billion

The age of influence: why digital platforms must come clean about political ads

Time to say goodbye to the plastic straw. But what’s the best alternative?

Lithuania needs to get rid of the victim mentality

Italy’s rescue operation Mare Nostrum shuts down with no real replacement. EU’s Triton instead might put lives at risk

Brexit update: Tusk’s proposal is out and Cameron takes it all

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

Corruption undermines democracy and contributes to instability, warns senior UN anti-crime official

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s