Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

Cameroon: The Cameroun Anglophone Movement (CAM) including membership, and treatment by authorities

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 13 August 2001
Citation / Document Symbol CMR37283.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Cameroon: The Cameroun Anglophone Movement (CAM) including membership, and treatment by authorities, 13 August 2001, CMR37283.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be2024.html [accessed 18 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The information that follows was taken from the Website of Southern Cameroons People's Conference (SCPC) states that,

the acronym CAM stands for the Cameroon Anglophone Movement. CAM was one of the first organizations to vocally advocate anglophone self-determination in Cameroun. As far back as 1989, CAM collected more than 5,000 signatures from Anglophone elites to legitimize its push forAnglophone rights. Presently CAM has one of the most intricate grassroots organizations in the Southern Cameroons, and can proudly claim to be the people's rally. CAM is one of the member organizations within the SCPC umbrella, and arguably among the most influential SCPC members (n.d.).

The following information about CAM is extracted from The Europa World Year Book 1999, which states the following:

in April [1993], a gathering organized by the Cameroon Anglophone Movement (CAM) in Buéa, in the South-West Province, demanded the restoration of a federal system of government, in response to the traditional dominance of the French-speaking section of the population ... In April [1994] authorities banned a conference by supporters of the CAM, which nevertheless took place at Bamenda ... [in August 1995] representatives of anglophone movements, including the SCNC and the CAM, officially presented their demands for the establishment of an independent, English-speaking republic of Southern Cameroons at the UN, and urged the international community to assist in resolving the issue in order to avert civil conflict in Cameroon; the organizations claimed that the plebscite of 1961, whereby the former southern portion of British Cameroons had voted to merge with the Republic of Cameroon on terms of equal status, had been rendered invalid by subsequent francophone domination (1999, 815-816).

West Africa corroborates the above information and elaborates that the meeting of April 1993 the All Anglophone Conference (AAC I) (20-26 June 1994, 1090). AAC I reportedly created an "All African Standing Committee," charged with negotiating with the government "in close observation of the terms of the Anglophone Draft Constitution to be tabled at the talks and be bound by that Draft's proposal regarding the return of Cameroon to the federal form of government"' (ibid.).

However, the ACC II meeting at Bamenda (headquarters of Anglophone Cameroun), between 29 April and 2 May 1994, reportedly dissolved the "All Anglophone Standing Committee" and replaced it with a new Anglophone Council, whose task was to seek and ensure "Constitutional talks between Anglophone Cameroon and Francophone Cameroon on the basis of the Draft Federal Constitution which was submitted by the Anglophone Standing Committee in May 1993" (ibid.).

Information specific to how one becomes a member of CAM and treatment of its members by the authorities could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

The following information on treatment of SCNC members of which CAM is a member, may be useful. Several Amnesty International Reports document the arrest of members of the SCNC (2001; 2000; 1998, 110; 1997, 125; 1996, 112). Amnesty International (2001) reports that a member of the SCNC died in prison on 14 September 2000 after he was denied access to medical treatment. "He had been arrested in May with nine other SCNC supporters in Ndop, North-West Province, and held without charge or trial. The other detainees were subsequently released on bail (ibid.).

On 20 January 2000 Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action report expressing concern for the safety of three SCNC members including a high court judge and a chief. Although "some of those arrested were released after questioning, Amnesty International is concerned, however, that an unknown number of others may be held incommunicado by the gendarmerie (the paramilitary police) in Buea and Limbe where there is reported to be increased security force presence" (ibid.).

Country Reports for 2000 states that "in April a gendarme in Limbe, Southwest Province, beat and tortured a foreign volunteer teaching at the government bilingual high school. The gendarme interrogated the volunteer about his connections with the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), an organization which calls for secession of the two English-speaking Anglophone provinces" (Mar. 2001).

For detailed information about the harassment of SCNC members since 1995, please see the attached Amnesty International Urgent Action Report.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Amnesty International. 2001. Amnesty International Report 2001. [Accessed: 9 Aug. 2001]

_____. 20 January 2000. Urgent Action: Cameroon: Fear of Torture and Ill-treatment /Harsh Prison Conditions (AI Index: AFR 17/02/00). London: Amnesty International.

_____. 1998. Amnesty International Report 1998. New York: Amnesty International USA.

_____. 1997. Amnesty International Report 1997. New York: Amnesty International USA.

_____. 1996. Amnesty International Report 1996. Neew York: Amnesty International USA.

Country Reports for Human Rights Practices for 2000. 2001. United States Department of State. [Accessed: 9 Aug. 2001]

The Europa World Year Book 1999 . 1999. 40th ed. Vol. 1. London: Europa Publications.

Southern Cameroons Conference. n.d. "Frequently Asked Questions."

[Accessed: 9 Aug. 2001]

South Wales Echo. 23 June 2001. Greg Lewis. "Eric Is Building A New Life After leeing From Fear." (NEXIS)

West Africa [London]. 20-26 June 1994. "Cameroon: Anglophone Problem."

Attachment

Amnesty International. 20 January 2000. Urgent Action. Fear of Torture and Ill- treament /Harsh Prison Conditions. (AI Index: AFR 17/02/00). London: Amnesty International.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London].

Africa Contemporary Record [London].

Africa Research Bulletin [Oxford].

IRB Databases. LEXIS/NEXIS

Keesing's Record World Events [Cambridge].

Resource Centre. Country File. Cameroon.

Search engines including:

Google.

Mamma.

Internet sites including:

Africa News

IRIN

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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