By Elah Geofrey Mbongale
Two prominent senators of the United States congress; Senate minority leader, Charles E. Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D) have expressed concern regarding the worsening situation in Cameroon.
The two senators expressed their support of a unified Cameroon based on both equality amongst all language and ethnic groups and mutual respect and urged the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley to urge the US government to convey this position to the Cameroon government and to the Cameroonian community in the United States of America.
In the latter to Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley dated November 1, 2017, the senators expressed worries over the reported deaths during the September 22 and October 1 demonstrations in the North West and South West regions of the country.
“We are concerned about the disturbing State Department and Amnesty International reports of live ammunition being used to disperse protests, mass arrests, increasing harsh crackdowns on freedoms of the press, severe restrictions on the movement of people living in predominantly Anglophone areas, and internet blackouts imposed by the government targeting the country’s English-speaking minority”, the letter reads in parts.
The Senators further expressed concerns as Cameroon is already being tested by Boko Haram activity in the North, and by tens of thousands of refugees flowing across the border from Central African Republic in the east.
“According to Amnesty International and subsequent media reports by CNN”, the letter furthered, “harsh tactics by state security forces, including allaged torture and extrajudicial killings, have occurred. It is our worry that such harsh actions are likely to further drive radicalization and anti-government sentiment in all affected regions, and undermine the intended impact of significant U.S. security assistance. We are further concerned that a failure to depolarize the current situation will result in larger challenges that devolve into a crisis that threatens regional stability, U.S. interests in Cameroon, and the lives of American citizens currently living and working there”, the letter concluded.
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Top U.S. senators express worry over Cameroon
By Elah Geofrey Mbongale
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