US-RESOLUTION – BILLS – CAMEROON

116TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION H. RES. 358
Calling on the Government of Cameroon and armed groups to respect the
human rights of all Cameroonian citizens, to end all violence, and to

pursue a broad-based dialogue without preconditions to resolve the con-
flict in the Northwest and Southwest regions.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MAY 7, 2019

Ms. BASS (for herself, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Mr. KIND, Mr. WALBERG,

Mr. CASTRO of Texas, Mr. MEADOWS, Ms. OMAR, and Mr. WRIGHT) sub-
mitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on

Foreign Affairs

                                     RESOLUTION

Calling on the Government of Cameroon and armed groups to respect the human rights of all Cameroonian citizens,
to end all violence, and to pursue a broad-based dialogue without preconditions to resolve the conflict in the North-
west and Southwest regions.

Whereas many Anglophone Cameroonians have long felt marginalized by official actions and policies of the Gov-
ernment of Cameroon, including the abolishment of a fed-ral form of government, which was the constitutional

basis under which English-speaking Southern Cameroons entered into the union, and replacing it with a unitary
state dominated by the Francophone majority;

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•HRES 358 IH

Whereas, beginning in late 2016, protests organized by law-yers, teachers, and students were violently repressed by

the Government of Cameroon, leading to numerous deaths and imprisonments, including of journalists,

teachers, lawyers, and an Anglophone judge on the country’s Supreme Court;

Whereas the conflict escalated in late September and early October 2017, when Cameroonian security forces brutally

cracked down on peaceful Anglophone civilian demonstrators, resulting in dozens of deaths and leaving over 100 injured;

Whereas, in 2017, separatists launched a campaign to pressure school officials in the Northwest and Southwest

Anglophone regions to go on strike as part of a boycott against the Government of Cameroon, and reportedly

began burning school buildings, threatening education officials with violence if they did not comply with a boycott,

and kidnapping for ransom children and teachers who defied the boycott;

Whereas numerous human rights monitors have documented armed separatists killing traditional leaders and targeting
civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, who are perceived to be supporting or working with the Gov-
ernment of Cameroon, and reports indicate that armed separatists have killed scores of security force personnel;
Whereas the security forces of the Government of Cameroon have attacked medical facilities and health workers in the
Northwest and Southwest regions;

Whereas numerous credible reports from human rights monitors, including the United Nations High Commissioner

for Human Rights, have documented the excessive use of 

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•HRES 358 IH
force by government security forces against Cameroonian civilians living in the Anglophone regions, including the
burning of villages, the use of live ammunition against protestors, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, sexual
abuse, and killing of civilians, including women, children,and the elderly;

Whereas the Department of State has expressed serious concern over the manner in which the government has used

force to unlawfully restrict the rights to free expression and peaceful protest that are protected under the
Cameroonian Constitution and international law;

Whereas the government has charged journalists, social activists, and members of political opposition parties with ter-
rorism-related crimes and prosecuted them in militarytribunals;
Whereas the Government of Cameroon arrested opposition leader Maurice Kamto and roughly 150 members of the

Cameroon Renaissance Movement party following peaceful protests on January 26, 2019, charging them with

crimes that could result in the death penalty and handling their cases at the Military Tribunal even though they are civilians;
Whereas the Government of Cameroon continued to place bans on Cameroon Renaissance Movement’s attempts to

hold peaceful protests, and civil society reported that security forces interfered with MRC registration processes in Yaounde ́,

Douala, and Bafoussam in February 2019;

Whereas the Government of Cameroon has repeatedly restricted freedoms of expression by shutting down the

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•HRES 358 IH
censes to independent media, and intensifying political attacks against the independent press;
Whereas the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated in April 2019 that more
than 530,000 people were internally displaced in areas affected by the Anglophone conflict;

Whereas the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that more than 32,000

Cameroonian refugees have registered in Nigeria;Whereas the Department of State has expressly called on the
Government of Cameroon to respect the rights, including the right to due process, of 47 Cameroonians forcibly re-
turned in January 2018 from Nigerian custody to Cameroonian authorities, many of whom had reportedly
submitted asylum claims in Nigeria; and Whereas ten of the 47 Cameroonians forcibly returned from

Nigeria now face charges before a military court punishable by the death penalty, while the other thirty-seven re-
portedly remain in detention without charge: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
2 (1) strongly condemns the abuses committed in
3 Cameroon’s Anglophone regions by the Government

4 of Cameroon security forces and armed groups, in-
5 cluding extrajudicial killings and detentions, the use

6 of force against nonviolent civilians and protestors,
7 and violations of the freedoms of press, expression,
8 and assembly;

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1 (2) affirms that the United States continues to
2 hold the Government of Cameroon responsible for

3 upholding the rights of all citizens, regardless of po-
4 litical views or beliefs or the regions in which they

5 reside, in accordance with Cameroon’s international
6 obligations and Cameroon’s own Constitution;

7 (3) urges all parties, including political opposi-
8 tion groups, to exercise restraint and to ensure that

9 protests remain peaceful;
10 (4) urges the Government of Cameroon to—
11 (A) initiate broad-based dialogue without

12 preconditions and make a credible, full faith ef-
13 fort to work with religious and community lead-
14 ers in the Anglophone region to address griev-
15 ances and seek nonviolent solutions to resolve

16 conflict and constitutional reforms that would

17 protect minority concerns, such as reconsti-
18 tuting a Federal system;

19 (B) follow through on the initiatives devel-
20 oped to address grievances, including the Com-
21 mission of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism,

22 the Ministry of Decentralization, and the Na-
23 tional Commission for Disarmament, Demobili-
24 zation, Reintegration, that currently offer no

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1-visible evidence of having played a constructive
2 role in resolving the crisis;
3 (C) respect the fundamental rights of all

4 Cameroonian citizens, including political activ-
5 ists and journalists;

6 (D) ensure that any security operations
7 are conducted in accordance with international

8 human rights standards, including efforts to en-
9 sure security forces only use force under appro-
10 priate circumstances;

11 (E) transparently investigate all allegations
12 of human rights violations committed in the
13 Anglophone regions and take the necessary

14 measures to prevent arbitrary detention, tor-
15 ture, enforced disappearances, deaths in cus-
16 tody, and inhumane prison conditions;

17 (F) promptly charge or release all those

18 detained in the context of the Anglophone cri-
19 sis, including the Cameroonians forcibly re-
20 turned from Nigeria, and ensure that any fu-
21 ture detainees are treated with due process, in

22 line with Cameroon’s penal code;

23 (G) allow unfettered access to humani-
24 tarian and health care workers in accordance

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1 with humanitarian principles of humanity, neu-
2 trality, impartiality, and independence;

3 (H) release the leaders and members of the
4 Cameroon Renaissance Movement party who
5 were arrested following their peaceful protests,

6 and ensure that this party, like others, can par-
7 ticipate unfettered in upcoming municipal, par-
8 liamentary, and regional elections;

9 (I) release human rights defenders, civil
10 society activists, political prisoners, journalists,
11 trade unionists, teachers, and any other citizens
12 who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained
13 without trial or charge;
14 (J) ensure that detainees are treated fairly
15 and humanely, with proper judicial proceedings,
16 including a registry of those detained by the

17 Cameroonian security forces, and with full ac-
18 cess to legal resources; and

19 (K) ensure that Cameroon’s antiterrorism
20 legislation is used only to prosecute offenses
21 that would be considered acts of terrorism
22 under international legal standards, and cease
23 to use this legislation to sanction activities that
24 are protected by national and international

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•HRES 358 IH
1 guarantees of freedom of expression, peaceful
2 assembly, and association with others; and
3 (5) urges the separatist groups to—
4 (A) engage with Cameroonian government
5 officials, as well as civil society and religious

6 leaders, in a broad-based dialogue without pre-
7 conditions to peacefully express grievances and

8 credibly engage in nonviolent efforts to resolve
9 the conflict;
10 (B) immediately stop committing human
11 rights abuses, including killings of civilians, use

12 of child soldiers, torture, kidnapping, and extor-
13 tion;

14 (C) end the school boycott immediately and

15 cease attacks on schools, teachers, and edu-
16 cation officials, and allow for the safe return of

17 all students to class;
18 (D) end incitement to violence and hate
19 speech on the part of the diaspora; and

20 (E) immediately release all civilians ille-
21 gally detained or kidnapped in the Anglophone

22 Northwest and Southwest regions.

                                                              

 

 

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