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[16days_discussion] Cameroon:Union of Human Rights Defenders Up against Abduction of 300 Nigerian Girls by Boko Haram

Colbert Gwain colbertgwain at
Fri May 16 02:09:22 EDT 2014

Union of North West Human Rights Organizations
Position Statement on Trans-border Insecurity and Boko Haram Activities
recent abduction of over 200 innocent Nigerian female students from the Chibok
Secondary School; the continuous deprivation of their basic human rights,
especially the right to religion and education; the tacit reaction and lack of
commitment from the international community; and the threat to security and
peace in countries neighboring Nigeria especially Cameroon, has become a
preoccupying issue to the Cameroonian Civil Society in general and the Union of
North West Human Rights Organizations in particular. Informed by the United Nations
Charter whereby over 189 member states are signatory and inspired by Article 55
and 56 which state in their preambles that: ‘With a view to the creation of
conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and
friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal
rights and self-determination of peoples, member states ….
pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the
Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55’, the Union
of North west Human Rights Organizations meeting in an extraordinary session in
Bamenda this Tuesday May 13, 2014, accuses the international community of
betraying their commitments to stamping out terrorism and cross-border
insecurity, especially when innocent girls become soft targets.
That the international community
has since 2009 stood by and watched Boko Haram activities top to a degree with
thousands of people losing their lives and that this Islamic extremist group’s
activities is receiving financial and intelligence support from international
networks cutting across countries, is the more worrisome to the Union of North
West Human Rights Organizations. 
The Union of North West Human
Rights Organizations which is made up of well-meaning Humana Rights Organizations
and CBOs is the more concerned given that the activities of Boko haram are not
only diabolical in their nature, inescapable in their reach, but more
dangerously, overwhelming in their dimension. The trans-border insecurity
brought by it has not only been felt in the Far North of Cameroon but also in
nearby Baworo in Menchum division. As if this is not enough, their consistent
attempts to us Cameroonian soil as a ‘Safe Haven’ is likely to create visible
cracks in the new-found smooth relations between Cameroon and Nigerian
government. This likely erosion of confidence could dampen the benefits
Cameroonians in general and North Westerners in particular would have drawn
from the Green Tree Accord with the resultant passage of the Bamenda-Ekok-Enugu
road. No Cameroonian committed to the attainment of the MDGs could be
indifferent to the kidnapping of the over 200 Nigerian girls given that girls
in communities along borders with Nigeria could be scared of going to school
for fear of the unknown. 
As our thoughts and compassion go
to the kidnapped innocent girls and their parents especially because of the
physical and psychological torture they currently go through, we acknowledge
the actions being undertaken  by
countries  like the  United States, Britain, France and the others
to see to it that these young girls are freed unhurt. We would like to urge the
United Nations as the leader of the international community to without further
delay sees into it that Article 55 and 56 of the U.N Charter are implemented in
order that these children be rescued.
Furthermore, we call on countries
especially in West and Central Africa to do all in their favour to address
issues of class difference and extreme poverty, improve governance and the role
of law-which activities can greatly reduce extremism. We particularly encourage
the Cameroon government to take a bold step and implement Article 66 of the
1996 Constitution on the disclosure of assets in line with the prescriptions of
the United Nations Office for Drug and Crime, UNODC.
Finally, as a socially
responsible Union, we call on Cameroonians of all works of life especially
those living in border areas, to increase vigilance at individual and community
level and to immediately report to Forces of Law and Order any suspected and
strange faces in our neighborhood. 
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