Boko Haram Urged To Respect Human Rights

Dr Chemuta Divine Banda

The Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms,NCHRF, Dr Divine Banda Chemuta, has sent a message to the Islamic Militant group Boko Haram, telling them to end violent activities and respect human rights.

The message was distributed to journalists on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 in Yaounde, during a press briefing at the Conference hall of the Commission.

In the message, Chemuta tells the terrorists to put an end to violence, kidnapping, killing, provocation, terror, looting, pillaging and destruction of property which have restricted movements, sent people into refugee camps, instill fear and suspicion, left many hungry and have led to a decline in economic activities in the country.

The militants are advised to seek dialogue in a peaceful and democratic atmosphere to achieve their desired goal. Chemuta also advised the populations affected by the activities of the terrorists to be vigilant and not to assist the group in any way. He urged them to denounce its members.

During the meeting with journalists, members of the commission made public results of investigations carried out in some leading business sites in the southern regions of Cameroon between 2011 and 2014.

The commission’s report stated that it effected field work to the Tole Tea Estate in 2011 and 2013, Kribi Deep Sea Port in 2012 and 2014, National Oil Refinery, SONARA, in 2013 and two times to the LOM Pangar hydro-electricity site in 2014.

The chairperson said in everyone of the sites, they sought to see the steps the state had taken to protect the rights of workers and rights of affected populations. He noted that the missions identified several irregularities and called the attention of the state authorities concerned to strengthen the protection instruments.

« We encouraged the creation of human rights focal points or human rights desk officers, who would work to ensure that human rights are understood and respected in the general interest » said Chemuta.

According to him, « LOM Pangar handled the problem of expropriation better than Kribi ». He stated that his commission is determined to investigate the land grabbing issue in the Fako division where administrative authorities have illegally acquired much land.

Members of the commission also undertook two missions to the Far North in August and September 2014 to investigate the security and human rights situation in the northern regions.

The first mission trained leaders of civil society organizations affiliated with the NCHRF while the second was a sensitization campaign carried out in four of the six divisions of the Far North.

The population was sensitized on the need for social cohesion in the fight against Boko Haram.

« It is gratifying to note that our efforts contributed to some positive results – the release of the hostages about two weeks after our campaign » an elated Chemuta told reporters, stating that there is no rebellion being planned in the Far North against the state.

The commission also launched the building of its 7th regional office in Maroua, chieftown of the Far North.

By Jude Fuhnwi

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