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Cameroon: HRW says Gov’t appears to be more concerned with fighting opposition than COVID-19

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Renowned international right body, Human Right Watch HRW has urged Cameroonian authorities to work with all its citizens regardless of their political belonging to put an end to the reign of the common enemy, the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, instead of fighting some of them.

Cases of Coronavirus infections in Cameroon keep increasing as days go by. From March 6 when the first case was recorded to May 14, the country has confirmed 3, 105 cases, amongst which 140 died and 1, 569 have been successfully treated.

This situation has prompted a lot of personal initiatives to help the Government contain the spread of the virus, amongst which a fundraising programme, Survie Cameroon Survival Initiative SCSI launched by Maurice Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement party.

Since it launched activities, SCSI has not been able to distribute anti-COVID-19 kits to the needy because authorities have prohibited any of such moves on the basis that the fundraising is illegal.

This according to Human Right Watch is unacceptable at a time when countries put hands on deck together with citizens to put the deadly Coronavirus pandemic at bay.

To the right body, Cameroonian authorities are using this opportunity to settle their scores with the party at the expense of public health.

“Cameroonian authorities appear to be more concerned with defeating the opposition than protecting public health.”

In its latest release on Cameroon, HRW recounts a number of moves by authorities to “frustrate” efforts made by SCSI in the fight against the Coronavirus, including the arrest of its volunteers, the instruction to close all accounts belonging to the fundraising, and the rejection of COVID-19 kits offered to the Minister of Public Health for onward distribution.

“Distributing free masks to those who need them is not rebellion and it certainly should not land people in jail.” The right body tells Cameroonian authorities.

 

 

 

 


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