By Njodzeka Danhatu, In Buea
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has announced his intention to strip Cameroon of its right to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA.
The White House in a letter sent to Congress on October 31, stated that Cameroon has not respected human rights, which according to the US Embassy in Yaounde, is a prerequisite to be a member of AGOA.
“I am taking this step because I have determined that the government of Cameroon currently engages in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, contravening the eligibility requirements of section 104 of the AGOA,” President Trump’s letter to Congress read in part.
“Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of Cameroon, Cameroon has failed to address concerns regarding persistent human rights violation being committed by Cameroonian security forces” the letter added.
According to the World’s Super Power, the sanction for the CEMAC zone country will commence by January 1, 2020.
The AGOA which CamemerooCameroonmore be part of, is a piece of legislation approved by the US Congress in 2000, to improve trade relations between USA and The sub-Saharan African countries, and to help the economies of such countries.
This comes at a time when Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch amd other and his groups had decried abuses committed by Cameroon’s defence and security forces in the Far North and Anglophone Cameroon.
The government of the oil-rich country has on several occasions lauded what it termed the professionalism of her soldiers in the ongoing 3-year armed conflict in the North-West and South-West regions.
When Washington released the letter, her embassy in Yaounde was quick to react.
It said the US remains committed to Cameroon despite the change in AGOA’s Status.
The office of Peter Henry Barlerin stated that Cameroon can still regain its membership if she improves on her respect for human rights.
At the time of this report, the government of Cameroon had not reacted to President Trump’s move, even though some supporters of the regime have instead slammed the US for harbouring terrorist leaders causing destruction in the English speaking regions.