Jackie Walorski, United States Representative, has condemned government’s use of force and intimidation against Cameroons’ English-speaking citizens.
In a show of solidarity with Indiana’s Cameroonian diaspora and the Notre Dame Law School community, Walorski on Friday March 17, released a statement on recent reports of increasing intimidation by the government of the Republic of Cameroon: “I am alarmed by recent reports that indicate the government of Cameroon is engaging in various forms of intimidation against the country’s English-speaking citizens, including the arrest of Notre Dame Law School alumnus Felix Agbor Nkongho. I join the Cameroon American Council in calling for an end to these sorts of fear tactics, which have no place in modern society.
“Respect for basic human rights is a key tenet of any democratic society and one which all countries must strive to achieve. It is critical that the government of Cameroon recognize and protect the rights of every citizen, regardless of background.
“I strongly urge the government to end violent attacks on protesters, ease media restrictions, eliminate judicial irregularities in the court system, and lift the internet blackout that has now been in place for 60 days in majority English-speaking regions.
In a similar tier, Congressman Andre Carson, has equally exhorted President Biya to ease tension before the situation degrades further. Hear him; “As the outgoing co-chair of the Congressional Cameroon Caucus, I have been deeply disturbed by the recent reports that protests over perceived marginalization of Cameroon’s Anglophone population have resulted in a harsh government crackdown. Reports indicate that numerous protestors have been detained and today marks the 60th day of an internet blackout that is causing a major setback for the social and economic future of a previously economically vibrant region.
“This suppression is particularly concerning given our foreign aid for the people of Cameroon and our shared mission to encourage economic development, stability, and democracy in the region. Just this week, the Cameroonian military freed 5,000 prisoners held by Boko Haram, highlighting the government’s laudable commitment to counterterrorism. Yet, as with all of our friends, we have an obligation to hold the Cameroonian government accountable when their actions suppress free expression and fail to protect minority populations. I call on President Biya and the government of Cameroon to ease tensions before the situation degrades further.”