Answer – VP/HR – Southern Cameroons – P-001646/2017

The HR/VP has been following the situation in the North-Western and South-Western regions of Cameroon and maintaining close contact with the authorities in order to understand the problems and exchange views. The National Human Rights and Liberties Committee (NHRLC) published a report on 14 February 2017 on human rights violations in the context of this crisis, where it considered the allegations of disappearances unfounded. The trial of the leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) is ongoing and is being followed by the EU Delegation in Yaoundé.

The state has a duty to ensure respect both for fundamental freedoms and the right to education, while also ensuring security and public order and enforcing the constitutional principle of a bilingual state. Several sources including the NHRLC have reported that acts of violence and intimidation were perpetrated by some of the protestors, but also that disproportionate force was used on specific occasions by the security forces — this must be appropriately investigated and addressed by the authorities.

The EEAS is maintaining regular contacts with the Cameroonian authorities, calling both sides to peaceful dialogue and welcoming any steps towards a negotiated solution which can respond to the concerns of the Anglophone minority while respecting the rule of law and fundamental freedoms of all citizens. The EU also stands ready to assist Cameroon in implementing the decentralisation reform foreseen in the Constitution.

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