Sunday, June 09, 2019

Cameroon Chaos

Prospects for talks between authorities and separatist movements to end escalating violence in Cameroon's English-speaking region are slim, a senior human rights official said on Friday.

"There is no desire for dialogue...The abuses are coming from both sides and the civilians are finding themselves in the middle," Ilaria Allegrozzi, Senior Central Africa Researcher at Human Rights Watch, told reporters in Paris. "The position of the government is an almost complete denial ... and there is total impunity for the violence." Allegrozzi said separatists were not in denial of the scale of the crisis, but of human rights abuses by their fighters. She cited an International Crisis Group report putting the number of separatists fighters at about 2,000-4,000 fighters and there was evidence that they were acquiring more sophisticated weaponry. Allegrozzi said the Anglophone population was increasingly in tune with idea of independence. "There is a growing feeling of support towards the separatists and secession."
The United Nations estimates that, since 2017, about 1,800 people have been killed and more than 530,000 displaced with 1.3 million in need. The crisis has tended to slip beneath the international radar given President Paul Biya's close cooperation with Western states in the fight against Islamist militant group Boko Haram in West and central Africa.

No comments: