6 February 2018

Cameroon: U.S. Statement on the Anglophone Detainees

Photo: UNHCR
Cameroonian refugees arriving in Cross River State
press release

The United States condemns the ongoing violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, including the murder of two Cameroonian gendarmes in the North West Region village of Mbingo, a Cameroonian soldier outside of Bamenda on February 1, an electoral official of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) in Bangem, and the reported deaths of four civilians in Bemenda and Belo on February 2 and 3. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and to the people of Cameroon.

We also call on the Government of Cameroon to respect the human rights, including due process, of the 47 Cameroonians forcibly returned from Nigerian custody to the Cameroonian authorities on January 26, and many of whom had reportedly submitted asylum claims in Nigeria. We urge the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria to adhere to their obligations under international law to refrain from forcible returns to asylum-seekers back to their countries of origin.

The 47 Cameroonians are now held in detention in Cameroon allegedly in connection with tension and violence in North West and South West Regions. We expect the government of Cameroon to afford these and other individuals previously detained all the rights and protections enshrined in Cameroon’s constitution, consistent with the nation’s international obligations and commitments.

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