Will Patricia Scotland Accepts to Suspend French Cameroun From the Commonwealth?
On September 26, 2018, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and 27 leading international Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) called on the Commonwealth to include the Cameroons to the list of Countries to be considered for suspension in the ongoing Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).
CMAG is in day 2 of its meeting in New York and has the power to suspend the Cameroons from the Commonwealth. CMAG is constituted by the Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, and the foreign ministers of Australia, Barbados, Belize, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, Samoa, and the United Kingdom.
Civil society organizations had raised the bodies attention to French Camerouns genocide in Ambazonia, characterized by indiscriminate killings, arbitrary arrests, detention without recourse to justice, torture, and indicted the colonial Government of Cameroon to be in breach of the Commonwealth Charter, Latimer House Principles, and the Harare Declaration.
According to David White, CHRI’s London Head; ‘CMAG was set up to deal with serious and persistent violators of the shared principles, which is precisely the situation in Cameroon. This is a call from civil society for the Secretary-General and CMAG to act in defence of the very values that bind our Commonwealth together.’
It is important to note that CHRI is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization with offices in Accra, London, and New Delhi. The organization, which is accredited to the Commonwealth, has for 30 years worked for the practical realization of human rights across Commonwealth nations. It has special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, and observer status at the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions.
The other 27 signatories to the submission for the suspension of the Cameroons from the Commonwealth were: African Centre for Democracy and Governance, Africans Rising; Afrika Youth Movement, All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (UK), Association for the Protection of Natural Resources in Cameroon, CIVICUS, World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, Commonwealth Association for Health and Disability, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Commonwealth Journalists Association, Crisis Action, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum, Freedom House, Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Minority Rights Group International, Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme Cameroun, Public Media Alliance, Royal Commonwealth Society Cameroon, Soroptimist International: a Global Voice for Women, The Commonwealth Equality Network, Un Monde Avenir, United Nations Association – UK, and World Dynamics of Young People (WDYP) – Cameroon.
Will the Secretary-General Patricia Scotland agree to the submission of these organizations?
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth in her last visit to French Cameroon assured the colonial president Paul Biya of the necessary support from her office to see that Cameroun remains a member of the Commonwealth. Apart from calling for an all-inclusive dialogue as the best means of resolving the present political conflict between Yaoundé and Buea, Madam Scotland also expressed her willingness to uphold the territorial integrity of Cameroun.
Like her UN counterpart Antonio Guiterres, Patricia Scotland left Yaoundé with her own golden statue from the King of Etoudi. With the present justifiable calls for the suspension of her golden statue benefactor from the Commonwealth; will she be ready to take such a decision? That is left to be seen.
BaretaNews Political Analyst