Human Rights Cameroon, HRC has prepared a petition which will be launched online on March 17 for the initiation of frank dialogue with neutral mediators, the restoration of internet and release of “non-criminal” citizens arrested in relation to the on-going protests in Anglophone regions.
The National President of the organisation holds government should consider calls for federation, but points out on a personal note, he would prefer a ten-state federation.
Rev. Quintin Cameroun Mbock, a Commander in the national Order of Merit knighthood who heads the organisation, told Journal du Cameroun that the petition of HRC takes into consideration the fact that past attempts to dialogue have failed and its actors of the civil society arrested. He also pointed out that even Prime Minister Philemon Yang’s trips to various divisions in the North West region have failed to secure resumption of schools in Anglophone regions.
Reverend Mbock recalled that Human Rights Cameroon had carried out investigations on reported human rights abuse in the North West region late last year, but government blocked him from revealing the findings in a press conference in Yaounde. He was unable to present the facts and recommendations, he thought could possibly end the crisis in the country’s English-speaking regions. He says the petition could serve as a means for them to reach President Paul Biya.
The petition, which he said will be signed online is geared towards conservation of national unity.
“From our findings, both protesters and government have committed atrocities, but what I am suggesting is a solution of tolerance and forgiveness. There are innocent people held in detention centres by security officers who are aware these people are not guilty. There are others whose guilt or innocence need to be determined by law courts. We request government should free the former and ensure speedy trial of the latter group”; said the Full Gospel Mission Man of God.
Rev. Mbock said the HRC is also petitioning government to prevent state officials from provoking citizens with irksome declarations. He said the organisation’s stance is for government to consider calls for federation, but noted that on a personal level, he believes a ten-state would be preferable for better governance and accountability.
“Federation is not a taboo topic. I am afraid to talk about federation because it is believed everybody who talks about it publicly is arrested. I am not afraid of arrest or death. I am a man of God and I remain objective and speak in support of national unity and integration” said the president of the HRC rights organisation.
The petition addressed to the Head of State, he said, will be submitted to both the Upper and Low houses of parliament for deliberations in the on-going session. It will also be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office and diplomatic services of foreign countries represented in Cameroon.