Cameroon Bribes UN Human Rights Centre to Cover its Abuses?
Many people have wondered why many international bodies reporting on human rights abuses, have been conspicuously silent on the case of Cameroon, especially the abuses committed by the Biya Regime.
The UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa has clarified the situation. Some of them are receiving donations from the same corrupt institutions they are meant to be watchdogs over. Proudly announcing a donation of $18K from Cameroon on their Twitter Account, the UN Human Rights was probably unprepared for the reaction they received from some Cameroonian Activists.
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) September 13, 2018
With the Biya regime’s record on bribery and corruption, such donations can only be construed to mean one thing. An incentive to the HR body to look the other way, while it continues with its flagrant disregard for human rights.
Many Twitter users stormed the tweet, posting images and videos of the different abuses the Cameroon government has been meting out on its population over the last few months. Some questioned why the Centre for Human Rights will accept donations from a
country that has refused to grant access to most Rights bodies to examine its detention centres and prisons. Such questions are not surprising, given that videos have been leaked from the Kondengui maximum security prison, indicating horrible living conditions. There is also currently a campaign on social media asking for the release of one Thomas Awah Junior, publisher of the Aghem News Magazine who is critically ill at the Kondengui Maximum Prison in Yaounde.
Judith Nwana, a Cameroonian activist, accused the UN Human Rights Centre for its hypocrisy. She further challenged the regime to use the money in helping refugees and internally displaced persons caused by its highhandedness in dealing with the ongoing crisis in the English-Speaking Regions of the country.
Seriously? What hypocrisy! The same #Cameroon you've recently criticized for its #HumanRights record? Maybe they should use that money to help @Refugees & IDPs caused by their #HumanRights abuses! @UN @nikkihaley @hrw @amnesty @BBC @NLatUN
— Judith Nwana (@judithnwana) September 13, 2018
Over the last couple of years, Cameroon has been gradually descending into a state of anarchy. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has visited Cameroon at the heart of the conflict, during which, Cameroonians worldwide held their breath as they hoped and prayed that something positive would happen following the visit. The SG rather left with a gift from the Cameroon Dictator Paul Biya, and never made an official statement about the crisis. The hopes of Cameroonians were again crushed, as it was the case when Biya visited the vatican and met with the Pope.
Efforts by the media outlet, Inner City Press to call on the UN to act and halt the violent crackdown in Cameroon, rather resulted in them being harassed and kicked out of the United Nations.
It would, therefore, appear that while Cameroonians are desperately hoping that the UN might intervene in some way to help them out of the precarious situation they find themselves, the different organs of the UN and its leaders are rather making feather beds with the Cameroon dictator and his regime.
This should not in the least be surprising, given that the UN has been known to be silent over the worst conflicts or genocides that have occurred over the last few decades. The Rwanda Genocide is a case in point, where the UN’s inaction has been largely blamed for the high number of deaths that were recorded.
Unless other bodies such as Amnesty Internation and Centre for Human Rights & Democracy in Africa continue to put out reports of the atrocities being committed by the Biya Regime, it is certain that no one will. Most certainly not the UN Centre for Human Rights.