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Cameroon: Gov’t denies using US military assistance for rights violation

The Government of Cameroon has denied allegations U.S. military assistance has been used to commit human rights violations.

Several leading US media organs have announced the Trump administration wll be reducing military aid in Cameroon on grounds of alleged human rights violation.

But the government of Cameroon through the Ministry of External Relations denies such claims. The government however acknowledges instances of human rights violations but say they have been investigated and prosecuted through proper judicial channels.

Below is a full statement from the Ministry of External Relations:

The Government of Cameroon wishes to provide clarity with regard to recent claims in the media of a reduction in U.S. security assistance to Cameroon.

In August 2018, the U.S. Government announced that United States Africa Command would begin to withdraw troops from the region in recognition of the success of joint efforts to deter, disrupt and defeat ISIS-affiliate Boko Haram terrorists in the Lake Chad region. In conjunction with this announcement, Cameroon was informed that marginal reductions in U.S. security assistance would accompany this drawdown. Cameroon has not been informed of any further reductions in U.S. security assistance since then.

Cameroon is an important U.S. security partner in the region. Since 2015, Cameroonian and U.S. forces have partnered in training, intelligence gathering and surveillance that has contributed to a significant reduction of the terrorist threat in the region. This and other elements of our security cooperation are of mutual benefit, and there is widespread recognition that its disruption could have serious implications for Central Africa. Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa (ISIS-WA) have used the region to recruit, train and build their capacity, terrorizing civilians and increasing their global presence. The latest Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community warns that ISIS and al-Qa‘ida-allied groups are an ongoing threat to Western and local government interests in the region.

Cameroon strongly denies accusations that U.S. military assistance has been used to commit human rights violations. While we have acknowledged instances of human rights violations, they have been investigated and prosecuted through proper judicial channels.

In addition to our efforts to address external terrorist threats, Cameroon confronts a violent secessionist movement in our North-West and South-West regions. This violence has been exacerbated by certain members of the Cameroonian diaspora, including in the United States, who have been providing financial and military support and guidance to secessionist fighters. These illegal activities have been publicly displayed on social media channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and documented by Human Rights Watch. They have also been cited as acts of terrorism in recent criminal complaints and a lawsuit submitted to U.S. authorities by victims of the violence seeking damages under the 1992 Antiterrorism Act.

Cameroon is committed to efforts with the U.S. Government to combat extremism and advance security in Africa. We look forward to continuing this work together”.

 

 


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