SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 200
(Senate - December 19, 2018)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S7930-S7931]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS

                                 ______
                                 

  SENATE RESOLUTION 733--CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT OF CAMEROON, ARMED 
 SEPARATIST GROUPS, AND ALL CITIZENS TO RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND ADOPT 
              NONVIOLENT APPROACHES TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION

   Mr. CARDIN (for himself, Mr. Young, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Coons, Mr. 
Markey, Mr. Booker, and Ms. Klobuchar) submitted the following 
resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

                               S. Res. 733

       Whereas the Government of Cameroon has repeatedly 
     restricted freedoms of expression nationwide by shutting down 
     the internet, harassing and detaining journalists, refusing 
     licenses to independent media, and intensifying political 
     attacks against the independent press;
       Whereas, following Cameroon's October 7, 2018, elections, 
     the African Union Election Observation Mission stated that 
     ``the current framework needs to be strengthened in order to 
     safeguard the democratic principles of separation of powers, 
     fairness, and independence and impartiality,'' which the 
     Department of State echoed, emphasizing the need to ``respect 
     the rule of law, resolve peacefully any disputes through 
     established legal channels, and avoid hate speech''.
       Whereas Anglophone Cameroonians have long felt marginalized 
     by official actions and policies of the Government of 
     Cameroon;
       Whereas, beginning in late 2016, protests organized by 
     lawyers, teachers, and students were violently repressed by 
     the Government of Cameroon, leading to numerous deaths and 
     imprisonments, including journalists and lawyers;
       Whereas, in January 2017, the Government of Cameroon 
     ordered the suspension of Internet services in the Northwest 
     and Southwest regions of Cameroon, the suspension lasting for 
     93 days and having a major, debilitating effect on the 
     economy, educational institutions, freedom of expression, and 
     social communication of the region's residents;
       Whereas the conflict escalated in late September and early 
     October 2017, when Cameroonian security forces brutally 
     cracked down on unarmed civilians peacefully demonstrating, 
     resulting in at least 20 people dying and leaving over 100 
     injured;
       Whereas, in 2017, armed separatist groups launched a 
     campaign to pressure school officials in the Anglophone 
     region to go on strike as part of a boycott against the 
     Government of Cameroon, and began burning school buildings 
     and threatening education officials with violence if they did 
     not comply with a boycott of schools in the Anglophone 
     regions;
       Whereas human rights monitors have documented armed groups 
     killing traditional leaders and targeting civilians who are 
     perceived to be supporting or working with the Government of 
     Cameroon, and reports indicate that armed militants have 
     killed Cameroonian security force personnel;
       Whereas numerous credible reports from human rights 
     monitors, including the United Nations High Commissioner for 
     Human Rights, have documented the excessive use of force by 
     Government of Cameroon security forces against Cameroonians 
     living in the Anglophone regions, including the burning of 
     villages, the use of live ammunition against protestors, 
     arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and sexual abuse;
       Whereas the Department of State has expressed serious 
     concern over the Government of Cameroon's use of force to 
     restrict free expression, and the use of violence against 
     individuals protesting the Government's policies in the 
     Anglophone regions;
       Whereas both the Government of Cameroon security forces and 
     armed groups have been documented targeting and brutally 
     killing civilians in the Anglophone regions, including women 
     and children;
       Whereas United States citizen Charles Wesco was senselessly 
     killed near the town of Bamenda, Cameroon on October 30, 
     2018, after being caught in what the Department of State has 
     characterized as ``cross fire'';
       Whereas the United Nations Office for the Coordination of 
     Humanitarian Affairs stated in November 2018 that at least 
     437,000 people were internally displaced in areas affected by 
     the Anglophone conflict;
       Whereas the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner 
     for Refugees reported that it had registered more than 29,000 
     Cameroonian refugees from the Anglophone regions in Nigeria 
     as of late October 2018;
       Whereas 47 Anglophone activists were forcibly returned from 
     Nigerian custody to Cameroonian authorities, despite many 
     having reportedly submitted asylum claims in Nigeria; and
       Whereas 10 of the 47 individuals forcibly returned from 
     Nigeria now face charges punishable by the death penalty, 
     while the other 37 reportedly remain in detention without 
     charge: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) urges all parties to the conflict in Cameroon, 
     including political opposition groups, to-
       (A) agree to an immediate ceasefire;
       (B) allow for unfettered humanitarian assistance;
       (C) exercise restraint and ensure that protests remain 
     peaceful; and
       (D) engage in inclusive dialogue with civil society to get 
     to a political solution that respects the rights and freedoms 
     of the people of Cameroon;
       (2) strongly condemns the abuses committed by the 
     Government of Cameroon, security forces, and armed separatist 
     groups in the Anglophone regions, including extrajudicial 
     killings and detentions, the use of force against nonviolent 
     civilians and protestors, and violations of the freedoms of 
     press, expression, and assembly;
       (3) affirms that the United States Government continues to 
     hold the Government of Cameroon responsible for upholding the 
     rights of all citizens, regardless of political views or 
     beliefs or the regions in which they reside;
       (4) urges the Government of Cameroon to--
       (A) initiate a credible, inclusive, good, and full faith 
     effort to work with religious and community leaders in the 
     Anglophone region to engage in meaningful dialogue and 
     address grievances and seek nonviolent solutions to resolve 
     the conflict, including possibly involving an independent 
     mediator in such negotiations;
       (B) respect the fundamental rights of all Cameroonian 
     citizens, including political activists and journalists;
       (C) ensure that any security operations are conducted in 
     accordance with international human rights standards, 
     including efforts to ensure security forces only use force 
     under appropriate circumstances;

[[Page S7931]]

       (D) investigate all allegations of human rights violations 
     committed in the Anglophone regions and take the necessary 
     measures to prevent arbitrary detention, torture, enforced 
     disappearances, deaths in custody, and inhumane prison 
     conditions;
       (E) to promote the rule of law through more transparent 
     accountability mechanisms;
       (F) promptly charge or release all those detained in the 
     context of the Anglophone crisis, including all Anglophone 
     activists arrested in Nigeria, and ensure that any future 
     detainees are treated with due process, in accordance with 
     Cameroon's penal code and international human rights norms;
       (G) ensure that detainees are treated fairly and humanely, 
     with proper judicial proceedings, including a registry of 
     those detained by the Cameroonian security forces, and with 
     full access to legal resources;
       (H) release human rights defenders, civil society 
     activists, political prisoners, journalists, trade unionists, 
     teachers, and any other citizens who have been arbitrarily 
     arrested and detained without trial or charge; and
       (I) work with United States law enforcement to thoroughly 
     investigate and prosecute Charles Wesco's murder; and
       (5) urges the separatist groups in Anglophone areas to--
       (A) engage with government officials to peacefully express 
     grievances and credibly engage in nonviolent efforts to 
     resolve the conflict;
       (B) immediately stop committing human rights abuses, 
     including killings of civilians, torture, kidnapping, and 
     extortion;
       (C) end the school boycott and immediately cease attacks on 
     schools, teachers, and education officials, and allow for the 
     safe return of all students to class; and
       (D) immediately release all civilians illegally detained or 
     kidnapped.

                          ____________________