Cameroon’s Election in UN Human Rights Commission. Another Remarkable Achievement for Biya’s Government

The election of Cameroon by 176 votes out of 197, second among the African countries is clear testimony that the efforts carried out by the government under the authority of President Paul Biya are being recognised.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

Despite smear campaigns by some International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) on the “violation of Human Rights” in the country, Cameroon has gained a place in the prestigious UN Council on Human Rights for a three-year mandate. The election that saw Cameroon score 176 votes out of 197, during an election at the UN Human Rights Council headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday October 12, is another milestone achievement of the Biya government.

Elected for three years alongside some other four African countries notably Burkina Faso, Togo, Eritrea and Somalia, it need at least 97 votes to gain access into the UN Council which intervenes in all issues concerning Human Rights in the globe. Cameroon scored a whopping 197 votes, far above the minimum score.

Cameroon’s election, it is worthy to note, did not occur by error. It is the outcome of hard work in the domain of the promotion of human rights. Coming within a particular context, when the country is faced with both internal and external attacks on its territorial integrity, the election of Cameroon into the UN Human Rights Council is salutary. This is more laudable because international rights organisations, Amnesty International, International Crisis Group, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch amongst others, have in the recent past, often criticised Cameroon especially in the fight against Boko Haram Terrorism attacks. These organisations have countless times, rated Cameroon as a country where human rights are not respected. What the international NGOs have failed to mention in their derogatory reports is that Cameroon is defending its territorial integrity in the face of wanton attacks by terrorists. The security and defence forces combatting Boko Haram Terrorist group in the Far Nrth Region and the armed separatists’ gangs in the North West and South West Regions are to say the least in self-defence since they are targeted by the terrorists.

Cameroon’s efforts in promoting human rights are very glaring. The National Commission for the Promotion of Human Rights and Freedoms was created by President Paul Biya as a watch-dog organ. The institution has been producing yearly reports on the situation of human rights in the country, which one can confidently say it’s improving. Apart from the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, there is a plethora of local NGOs in the country which are monitoring the situation.

The Ministry of Justice through its Department of Human Rights Promotion, has also been relentless in producing reports and advising government on the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.  Religious bodies like the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church has also been active in promoting rights education in the country. Indeed, the Human Rights situation in the country has greatly improved as sensitisation of the population and training of security and defence forces on human rights issues has intensified in Cameroon.

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