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« Gov't Attempted Killing Me - Ndam Njoya | Main | CDC's New Multi-million Investment »

Monday, 15 January 2007


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Eric Ngonji Njungwe

Streamlining the roles of various stakeholders in the promotion and protection of human rights in a country is without doubt a good idea. However, the track record of our government and the National Commission on Human Rights does not provide any guarantee that they can be effective in their roles. I am therefore skeptical about the whole idea of delimiting the actions each stakeholder can engage in, especially because the government is beginning to view the growing influence of NGOs as a serious threat to their agenda. Hence, I hope that this workshop was not a forum to introduce any secret government agenda of set ting limits on the activities of human rights organizations, but rather a forum to truly harmonize the activities of all state and non-state actors in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance, and other positive governmental values within the Cameroonians society.

Meanwhile, I would like to ask where the National Human Rights Commission and its Chairman Dr. Divine Chemuta Banda where, when the government tabled in the Bill Creating Elections Cameroon (ELECAM)? ( What was the role of the Commission in the drafting of this PROBLEMATIC law and what has been the reaction of the Commission ever since its enactment. THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND BE VOTED IN FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS is a human right which the Commission must defend within the national territory of Cameroon. Therefore remaining quite in the face of laws that set out to violate this right can be construed as an act of conspiracy or at best, lack of independent stance on the part of the Commission.

My personal experience of our National Human Rights Commission and my personal interaction with its pioneer Chairman, Late Dr. Solomon Nfor Gwei let to the publication of this article entitled The National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms of Cameroon: A “sick” Institution of Common Concern ( While our National Human Rights Commission is probably trying its best under the LIMITED authority granted it by the President (who remains the GUARANTOR of the independence of the Commission), it remains completely answerable to President Biya and lacks the authority to hold regime elements accountable for human rights violations.

President/Executive Director: Progressive Initiative for Cameroon – PICAM:

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