Cameroon: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered at on 18 June 2019.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 22 May 2019 to Question 257452 on Cameroon: Politics and Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits on reducing security cooperation with the Cameroon government as a result of allegations of human rights abuses in that country.

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

The UK is deeply concerned by reports of human rights violations and abuses in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. The British Government was shocked by footage released in July 2018, although subsequently dated to 2015, showing alleged Boko Haram supporters being killed in northern Cameroon. I condemned these horrific killings in a public statement and urged the Government of Cameroon to ensure those responsible face justice. Seven soldiers have subsequently been arrested. The British Government continues to raise concerns about human rights violations and abuses at the highest levels, including at the UN Security Council on 4 June at a briefing of the UN Office for Central Africa. The UK along with Austria led a cross-regional statement raising concerns at the UN Human Rights Council in March. We welcome the recent visit to Cameroon by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of Cameroon's reported openness to working with the UN to address the severe humanitarian situation and tackle violations and abuses of human rights. While the UK has a shared interest in cooperating with Cameroon in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, we continue to keep our cooperation under constant review.

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