Nine international and national human rights organizations have written an open letter to members of the United Nations Security Council asking them to formally add Cameroon to its agenda as a regular stand-alone item.
“The UN Security Council has largely kept silent on the crisis,” the organizations said. “Without expeditious action, the situation is likely to worsen.”
As the UN Regional Office for Central Africa meets for this week’s briefings the groups also think it is an opportunity for the Security Council to urge the Cameroon authorities to investigate and prosecute members of the security forces alleged to have carried out human rights abuses. It should also publicly assert to armed separatist groups that their leaders will be held responsible for serious crimes committed by their fighters.
The issue of access to Cameroon and its affected regions was also brought up by the groups. They want the Cameroon government to allow unhindered access to international and national human rights organizations.
On Monday (13 May, 2019), United Nations Security Council members held an Arria-formula meeting on “the humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.” The meeting was organised by the Dominican Republic, Germany, the UK and the US.
The groups that signed the letter are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme Cameroun (NDH – Cameroon), World Organisation Against Torture, Presbyterian Church (USA), and Réseau des Défenseurs des Droits Humains en Afrique Centrale (Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network).