International rights group, Human Rights Watch, HRW; have welcomed a recent move by the United States to push the Cameroonian government to act on human rights abuses especially among its security forces.
According to a statement by their Central African researcher, Ilaria Allegrozzi stressed that despite Washington’s move, there was the need for more global action on Cameroon.
“The US termination of the designation of Cameroon as a beneficiary country under AGOA should be a wake-up call to the Cameroon government and should stir action from other international partners to Cameroon to publicly address serious human rights concerns in the country,” she said.
Before last week, announcement that the Trump administration intended to cut AGOA (Africa Growth and Opportunities Act) trade benefits for Cameroon by January 1, 2020, Washington had in February scaled back security cooperation citing persistent human rights violations in the country.
AGOA is an initiative that allows sub-Saharan African countries to export to the US without a customs duty. It is usually open to governments that have established or making progress toward establishing, rule of law, political pluralism, fair trial and due process standards, and equal protection under the law.
In his message to Congress, President Trump said Cameroon has failed to address concerns regarding government forces’ persistent human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and torture.
Human Rights Watch researchers have been active in report of excesses by security forces and separatists in the country’s Anglophone regions hit by secessionist violence. They have also reported on similar cases in the Far North region where authorities are fighting Boko Haram elements.
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