Trump cancels U.S trade pact with Cameroon over rights abuses
London, Nov. 1, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Cameroon will no longer benefit from a trade pact between the US and sub-Saharan African countries because of “gross” human rights violations against its own citizens, US President Donald Trump says.
President Trump cited “extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and torture” in his statement issued on Thursday, adding that Cameroon will be officially excluded from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on 1 Jan.
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
In accordance with section 506A(a)(3)(B) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2466a(a)(3)(B)), I am providing notice of my intent to terminate the designation of the Republic of Cameroon (Cameroon) as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (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.
Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of Cameroon, Cameroon has failed to address concerns regarding persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces. These violations include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and torture.
Accordingly, I intend to terminate the designation of Cameroon as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under the AGOA as of January 1, 2020. I will continue to assess whether the Government of Cameroon engages in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, in accordance with the AGOA eligibility requirements.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 31, 2019.
Some 3,000 people have been killed in violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone region over the past three years, according to a group of 65 civil society organisations who this week called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to address violations in the country.
The group states that about half a million people have been forced to flee their homes, and 700,000 children are out of school.
More about the conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions: