The United States House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan resolution calling on the government of Cameroon, armed groups, and all citizens to respect human rights and adopt nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution in the Anglophone region.
“At Medicines for Humanity (MFH), we are greatly heartened by this news. We have sent letters to U.S. government officials urging them to address the unrest and violence against humanity that has been taking place in Cameroon for more than a year. The Anglophone crisis has devastated the northwest and southwest provinces of the country where we work in partnership with communities of Catholic Sisters and Catholic Dioceses to provide critically-needed health services to marginalized children and pregnant women,” stated Margaret Brawley, MFH CEO.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin, and the resolution was led by Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Rep. Karen Bass of California. Earlier this month Representative Kind had the opportunity to visit Cameroon and speak with officials on the ground, which reaffirmed the need for an inclusive dialogue to achieve a sustainable peace. Said Representative Kind, “I’m proud that today, Congress is sending a clear message to do just that.”
Over the past two years, tensions have escalated between the minority Anglophone population of the country and the Francophone factions that control the government. Hundreds have died and close to 500,000 have been displaced, with human rights violations alleged against both security forces loyal to the Francophone-led Cameroonian government and militant Anglophone separatist groups. Medicines for Humanity has health projects at 20 community sites throughout the region.
Ms. Brawley also stated, “All of us at Medicines for Humanity thank Representatives Kind and Bass, as well as the entire House of Representatives for their support. We hope and pray that this will help lead to peace and restore civility in Cameroon.”