THE 2014 ANTI- TERRORISM LAW IN CAMEROON AND ITS EFFECTS ON SOUTHERN CAMEROONIANS;
(December 18, 2014) Cameroon’s legislature has passed new anti – terrorism legislation that includes the death penalty for citizens who, either as individuals or in a group carry out, abet or sponsor terrorism.
The draft law also prescribes the death penalty for persons who carry out ‘’ any activity which can lead to a general revolt of the population or disturb the normal functioning of the country’’ and for anyone who supplies arms, war equipment, bacteria and viruses with the intention of killings.
The same law applies for people guilty of kidnapping with terrorist intent, as well as for ‘’ anyone who directly or indirectly finances acts of terrorism’’.
This Anti- terrorism law is manifestly against the fundamental liberties and right of the Cameroon people. In the guise to fight terrorism, the government real intent is to stifle political dissent ‘’Kah Wallah, a leader of the Cameroon people’s party lament.
The 2014 anti –terrorism law has sparked a wave of criticism across the political sphere from opposition political leaders to civil society, church ministers, trade unions and civil society.
They argued that the law is designed to terrorise the people and kill their freedoms.
Various opposition political leaders and civil society exponents have vowed to fight the proposed law to its logical end. Cameroonians must resist and say no to this manoeuvre ….. We will fight this law by every means said Fru Ndi, leader of the SDF opposition party in Cameroon
Furthermore, the 2014 anti-terrorism law has been use to silent dissent of the southern Cameroon separatist’s movement.
Seseku Ayuk Tabe leader of the southern Cameroon separatist movement and nine of his followers have been given life sentences by a military court in Cameroon capital Yaoundé in the early hours of Tuesday 20th of August 2019. They were convicted of secession, insurrection, rebellion, destruction of state properties, demonstration against the state of Cameroon amongst other charges. Their lawyers accused the judge of bias and withdrew from the proceedings.
The 2014 anti-terrorism law has earlier sparked a wave of criticism and many political analysts had seen this as a means to silent dissent most especially SCNC activists and opposition parties. Some people believe that the law has been enacted to terrorise the people of southern Cameroon and possible killing their freedoms.
The 2014 anti-terrorism law is also against the fundamental liberties and the rights of the southern Cameroonian people who are clamouring for a complete separation from French Cameroon and the formation of a new nation known as Ambazonia.
More than 2000 southern Cameroonians are being incarcerated in prisons all over French Cameroon for merely expressing their political views on the on-going crisis in Southern Cameroon. Most of them have been sentence to 12-15 years imprisonment using the anti-terrorism law while others are still lamenting behind bars with deplorable prison conditions.
WRITTEN BY LUM WINIFRED ACHU
SCNC ACTIVIST LONDON UK