Cameroon: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 13th May 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political and human rights situation in Cameroon; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political and humanitarian situation in Cameroon; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK continues to be deeply concerned at the worsening humanitarian situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon and the reports of human rights violations and abuses committed by both security forces and separatists. Violence is driving people from their homes, and impacting on the lives of ordinary civilians, particularly women and children. The UK is providing lifesaving assistance to 10,000 people in the Anglophone regions following a £2.5m contribution to UNICEF in December.

The British Government regularly raises concerns about the political, human rights, and humanitarian situation with the Government of Cameroon. Further to a phone call in March with Cameroon Prime Minister, Joseph Ngute, on 30 April, I met with the Cameroon High Commissioner to London to reiterate UK concerns. We discussed the plight of the 530,000 people who have been internally displaced within the Anglophone regions, the 32,000 refugees in Nigeria who have fled from the crisis, and the arrest and detention of Opposition Leader, Maurice Kamto and other political actors. I urged the Government of Cameroon to urgently take steps to establish a credible dialogue to tackle the root causes of the crisis in the Anglophone regions, and ensure fair and timely trial, or release, of detainees. The UK continues to call for unhindered humanitarian access to affected populations, and investigations into all reports of human rights violations and abuses. The UK and Austria delivered a joint statement with support from 37 countries on the deteriorating situation in Cameroon at the UN Human Rights Council in March, demonstrating the increasing concerns of the wider international community.

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