18.07.2022 at 17h03
This closure will take effect on August 1, thus leading to the end of the contracts of the majority of the association’s staff.
Doctors Without Borders has decided to close its offices in Kumba and Mamfe, in the South West region of Cameroon. This decision comes a few months after the suspension at the end of March of the activities of Doctors Without Borders in the southwest of the country due to the arrest last December of two employees of the organization, then in January of two others.
“In the current context, MSF cannot keep its staff on-site without having visibility as to its ability to resume activities that do not endanger its teams, particularly from a legal standpoint”, underlines the NGO. DWB is working on the release of its four staff, wrongfully detained between December 2021 and January 2022. While two of them were released on conditions last May, two are still imprisoned and all are still subject to legal proceedings related to their professional commitment to providing medical assistance without ethnic, political discrimination. or religious.
“We currently have four colleagues who are in detention, two were conditionally released in May, and two are still in prison in Buea; we are waiting for justice, they will go to court, it will start now in August, and in this situation, we can not ensure safety for our colleagues,” said Gisa Kohler, Director of operations for MSF in Cameroon, according to RFI.
The organization will continue to work for the release of DWB employees and to continue the dialogue with the authorities, for the establishment of conditions allowing the activities of the association to be carried out in a safe and secure environment.
Besides, DWB plans to reconsider this decision after the trial of its employees and according to its discussions with the government. The association remains hopeful about the possibility of obtaining from the authorities suitable conditions for its work with the populations of the region, without its teams risking legal proceedings.