Union of North West Human Rights Organizations-UNOWRURO
POSITION STATEMENT ON TRANS-BORDER INSECURITY AND BOKO HARAM ACTIVITIES
The 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.
Chongsi Joseph Ayeah
List of Organizations:
1. Center for Human Rights Peace and Advocacy-CHRAPA
2. Nkumu Fed Fed
3. Community Education and Development Service-CEDS
4. Women in Action against Gender Based Violence-WACameroon
5. Center for Advocacy in Gender Equality and Action for Development-CAGEAD
6. A Common Future
7. Health Development Consultancy Services-HEDECS
8. Community Human Rights and Advocacy Center-CHRAC
9. Community Initiative for Sustainable Development-COMINSUD
11. Society for Initiative in Rural Development and Environment Protection-SIRDEP
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