Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cameroon:Crackdown of activists persists despite condemnation

By James Mukoh.
Government’s stance against the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), which is championing the restoration of the independence of the Southern Cameroons despite a recommendation by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights that the Government of Cameroon should dialogue with its proponents, appears fixed.

Supporters of the SCNC continue to complain that, they are molested, arrested, tortured, prosecuted and jailed because the Cameroon government regards them as an outlawed group that is threatening the unity of the Republic of Cameroon and tarnishing the image of its governance with their secessionist ambitions and activities.

The continued crack down on the outlawed group, repeatedly condemned by rights activist groups, is forcing many young supporters of the SCNC to flee the country and seek for political asylum abroad. Those who have succeeded to flee the country have automatically become the group’s ambassadors and envoys, presenting the so-called marginalization of Anglophones to international bodies and human rights groups.

In Cameroon, Anglophones feel discriminated against and are grossly marginalized in development projects and leadership positions, which is against the spirit of their union with Francophones in 1961.

Many vocal Southern Cameroonian activists had since fled the country and now live abroad for safety, claiming Cameroon is too unsafe for them. Abroad they are keeping the fight for the independence of southern Cameroon alive, as they mobilize for support, hoping that one day Southern Cameroons will once be an independent state.

Recent reports said a certain Isa Mohamed, a failed assylum seeker from The Netherlands returned to Cameroon only to be arrested by security agents who had been monitoring his activities .Activists allege his whereabouts is unknown. Mr. Isa had reportedly fled the country together with young activists such as Muluh Eric Khan, A.T.Chi Muluh, Tumasang Cho Robert.
In a related case, Sharon Harme Samba, wife of Mafani Emmanuel Kaisa,a radical SCNC member on the run, is said to have been convoked and interrogated at several times by plain clothes security concerning the whereabouts of her spouse. Family members told us that Mrs. Harme samba is living in fear, wondering what her fate will soon or later be.
Now that granting political asylum to seekers in Europe is very difficult, many SCNC protection seekers there are living in fear that, if unsuccessful, they may be sent back to meet with their persecutors

An SCNC official told this newspaper that the persecution of SCNC supporters only makes the cause popular as such incidents would always be reported as human rights violations.
Many Human rights observers have questioned why security keeps menacing members of SCNC whose motto is “The Force of Argument, Not the Argument of Force”.

Also Published in The RECORDER newspaper, Cameroon, of December 24, 2012

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