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Africa Program Director Monde Muyangwa Moderates Congressional Briefing on Human Rights and Security Concerns in English Speaking Cameroon

On Monday, July 24, 2017, Wilson Center Africa Program Director Dr. Monde Muyangwa moderated a Congressional Briefing on Human Rights and Security Concerns in English Speaking Cameroon organized and hosted by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and endorsed by the Cameroon American Council.

Africa Program Director Monde Muyangwa Moderates Congressional Briefing on Human Rights and Security Concerns in English Speaking Cameroon

On Monday, July 24, 2017, Wilson Center Africa Program Director Dr. Monde Muyangwa moderated a Congressional Briefing on Human Rights and Security Concerns in English Speaking Cameroon organized and hosted by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and endorsed by the Cameroon American Council.

The event addressed the human rights and security concerns occurring in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, as well as humanitarian crises caused by Boko Haram and by the influx of refugees from the Central African Republic. The forum featured a panel of experts including Mr. Adotei Akwei, Managing Director for Government Relations, Amnesty International USA; Ms. Alexis Arieff, Africa Policy Analyst, Congressional Research Service; Mr. Peter Micek, General Counsel, Access Now; and Ms. Alyssa Rickard, Program Officer for Central and West Africa, Freedom House. The panel provided an overview of the political and social contexts that have exacerbated the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon, including the lack of turnover in power and weak development of democratic institutions. “The question of identity,” as Dr. Muyangwa called it, catalyzed a protest movement in 2016 by English-speakers who felt marginalized by the Cameroonian Government and the French-speaking majority. The government responded to these protests with internet shut downs and intensified new penal codes that worked to silence and isolate the English-speaking population. The panel addressed the causes and drivers of the issue, emphasizing the need to remedy the security force abuses and culture of impunity before the upcoming 2018 elections to ensure the stability of Cameroon. The panelists noted the trend in the wider African context of governments restricting space in the name of counterterrorism. Additionally, they spoke to the role that the United States can play in holding Cameroon accountable for how it utilizes military aid in order to ensure that assistance is not used to further restrict the rights and freedoms of Cameroonians.


Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more