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Rights group urges AU to suspend Cameroon over alleged torture of Ambazonia leaders

A Nigerian rights group has called on the African Union to suspend Cameroon for alleged violation of human rights of 47 separatists arrested in Nigeria and deported to Cameroon earlier this year.

In an open letter addressed to the AU, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) called on the AU to convene an extraordinary summit to suspend Cameroon as a means of putting pressure on the nation to end alleged torture of the 47 Ambazonian leaders in detention.

The organisation also called on the AU to “maintain targeted travel sanctions and asset freezes against the authorities until they meet specific human rights and good governance benchmarks.”

It is over sixty days since 47 separatists were arrested and transferred in Cameroon, though their whereabouts are still unknown.

The arrests has sparked waves of violence between security forces and activists in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon leading to several deaths and many fleeing into Nigeria as refugees.

The international community has called for a sustained dialogue in the face of repeated violence to no effect.

SERAP however has called on the AU to ”intervene effectively to end Cameroon’s long-standing human rights and humanitarian crisis.

«  Only strong and concerted pressure on the government can end the country’s human rights and humanitarian emergency,” SERAP said.

In an attempt to crack down of the recent waves of violence in the Anglophone regions of the coungtry, Cameroonian authorities last weekend placed a temporary on the movement of commercial motorbikes in parts of the territory.

According to authorities, activists have killed at least 27 soldiers with the help of motorcyles. A regular weekly dusk to dawn curfew has been enforced in both regions of the country for the past weeks.

Published on 03.01.2023

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