-Cameroonian security forces must abide by accepted human rights norms, and those who violate these norms must be held appropriately accountable.
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Christopher John Lamora, incoming United States Ambassador to Cameroon says whether members of the security forces or of armed separatist groups “no one undermining peace in Cameroon has our support or tolerance.”
The Career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor was speaking during his confirmation hearing this June 9 via videoconference to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“We condemn violence in all its forms, regardless of who is perpetrating it, and call for an end to the suffering of the civilian population regardless of their location or affiliation,” the soon-to-be confirmed US Ambassador to Cameroon said.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the continued violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions. What began as peaceful protests in late 2016 has tragically escalated into a protracted violent crisis with more than 3,000 persons killed and more than one million internally displaced. Children have been threatened, and in some cases killed, for attending school. Schools, hospitals, and religious sites have been attacked. Humanitarian actors continue to face numerous obstacles in carrying out their work.”
He added: “We are acting vigorously to help resolve the crisis. This week, the Secretary of State established a policy imposing visa restrictions on those
undermining efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis. We continue to have discussions about Cameroon with the Cameroonian government and other Cameroonians, as well as with key international partners to foster greater, stronger, and more unified engagement. Working to resolve this crisis is and will continue to be, the single highest priority in our Cameroon policy.”
Christopher Lamora is not a new face in the Cameroonian milieu having been part of the Diplomatic mission to the country. Lamora worked at the U.S. Consulate General in Douala, Cameroon (1992-1993) and that knowledge acquired will be vital if he is to continue where his predecessor left off and create new partnerships and relationships between the two countries.
Christopher Lamora should he be confirmed by the US Senate will take over from Henry Peter Barlerin who was Ambassador to Cameroon from 2017 to 2020. The new US Ambassador will work to forge a strong bond between Cameroon and the USA while also advancing the latters’ policies.
On security, the United States continues to support Cameroon and its Lake Chad Basin neighbours in their joint effort to defeat Boko Haram and its offshoot, ISIS-West Africa. “This is a key element of the fight against global terrorism. Our support, however, is neither limitless nor without conditions. Cameroonian security forces must abide by accepted human rights norms, and those who violate these norms must be held appropriately accountable,” John Lamora added.