PUBLISHED ON November 4, 2019
Since 2016, Cameroon has been going through a serious crisis in its English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions which now escalated into a full-fledged civil war. Born from the reunion in 1961 of two colonies that were earlier separated by the first world war, Cameroon is composed of eight regions from the former “République du Cameroun” and two regions from the former Southern Cameroons. Initially reunited as a federal republic made-up of two states with equal rights, this arrangement was arbitrarily dissolved by a single party dictatorship that changed the form of the state into a one and indivisible unitary system against the constitutional dispositions in place. It is this situation and many more that has led the English-speaking minority to undertake public manifestations against systematic marginalisation. A crackdown on these manifestations and the imprisonment of some civil society leaders by the regime brought about a violent reaction by secessionist groups from these regions that has now transformed civil disobedience into a civil war with horrible exactions and violations of basic human rights. Today, there are more than 3.500 casualties, 7.000 injured persons, 60.000 refugees fleeing the regions to neighbouring Nigeria and 450.000 internally displaced persons.
In view of this ongoing crisis in Cameroon, notably in the North West and South West regions, the Progressive Alliance:
- Calls on the government of Cameroon to urgently take all necessary measures to bring to an end the civil war in these regions and to all the parties concerned to put an immediate end to all forms of violence.
- Welcomes the holding of the Major National Dialogue as called up by the government and asks it to implement without further delay the agreements obtained during this dialogue as a first necessary step to restore peace and national social cohesion.
- Recognizes the release of some prisoners related to this crisis and demands that the government releases all of the prisoners related to this crisis, especially the leadership of the secessionist movements.
- Demands on the government of Cameroon to put in place without any delays, respectful and independent democratic institutions that can usher the way for democracy and democratic alternance.
- Respects the territorial integrity of Cameroon and demands that the government of Cameroon immediately takes significant measures that will put an end to the marginalisation of any of its people.
- Calls on all the parties in the conflict to respect fundamental human rights and on the forces of law and order to exercise restraint.
- Calls on the governments across the world, solidarity movements and the international community to implement the necessary measures to contribute to the restoration of lasting peace with justice and democracy in Cameroon.