Cameroon Government has been called to compensate exiled human rights activist and Southern Cameroons Youth League, SCYL, leader, Dr. Ebenezer Derek Mbongo Akwanga, with FCFA 1.5 Billion.
REDRESS is a London-based Human Rights Organisation. Ebenezer Counsel, Kevin Laue, has called on President Paul Biya to immediately respond to a 2011 advisory by the United Nations Human Rights Committee to pay reparations, including compensation, for the torture and imprisonment to Akwanga, now on exile in the United States of America.
Ebenezer was arrested in 1997 alongside dozens of other Southern Cameroons activists. He was tried and sentenced by a military tribunal to 20 years in prison for subversion and terrorism – charges they all denied.
However, Akwanga managed to escape to Nigeria in 2003. He thereafter contacted REDRESS who helped file his case against Biya’s Government in 2007. We are made to know Cameroun Government has not respected the instructions from the Human Rights Committee. It should be recalled that Cameroun government has signed international treaties which warrant it to fulfil such commitment. They have been doing it to other citizens
However, REDRESS revealed that they wrote directly to the Government in Cameroon a few years ago, in order to get some kind of dialogue going. The Cameroon State failed to respond but, eventually, a year or so later, they did file a paper with the HRC in Geneva saying that they received the letter from REDRESS but they cannot act unless Akwanga goes back to Cameroon to face the judicial process there (there is a warrant for Akwanga’s arrest in Cameroon), less they are not prepared to do anything.
Recalled that Ambazonia (Southern Cameroons) is that part of the British Mandate territory of Cameroons in West Africa. Since 1961 it has been illegally part of the Republic of Cameroon, where it makes up the Northwest Region and Southwest Region. Pressure groups since 1994 have been clamouring for independence and the Republic of Ambazonia was declared by the Southern Cameroons Peoples Organization (SCAPO) on 31 August 2006. Since then till now, many Southern Cameroons activists have been arrested and molested, others are still in detention while some are in for self-exile.
God is still saying something
NB: This article has been developed from the Post Newspaper. The Complete interview with REDRESS will be published subsequently