Prosecuting Human Violations Committed in the Anglophone Cameroon Crisis: A Disquisition on the Legal Framework

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2022/v25ia11343

Keywords:

Anglophone Cameroon crisis;, transitional justice, duty to prosecute human rights violations;, individual criminal responsibility;, international criminal justice;, human rights violations in Cameroon.

Abstract

The prosecution of perpetrators of mass violations of human rights remains one of the unfinished tasks of Africa's ʺdemocraciesʺ which, in itself, is eloquent evidence of the need for systemic arrangements to protect human rights, build a culture of the rule of law and ultimately defeat impunity. Emboldened by the absence of the foregoing, accountability for human rights violations of individuals and the fulfilment of the corresponding duty to prosecute violators have been contentious issues in Africa's politically volatile communities. As states are caught betwixt and between protecting human rights and holding individuals accountable, the questions about the State's fulfilment of its international obligations arises. Sourced primarily from international treaties, customary international law, and general principles of law, the duty to prosecute violations of human rights is revisited with a focus on the theoretical and legal framework. Situated in the context of the ongoing Anglophone Cameroon crisis in which political factions of the English-speaking regions are pitted against the French-speaking dominated Government of Cameroon, and bringing to the fore the violations, which have become an odious scourge, this paper argues that there is a sacrosanct duty on the Government of Cameroon to investigate, prosecute and punish such violations. The paper interrogates the relevant international law instruments and engages in a dialogue with relevant and respectable literature penned by prominent scholars and jurists on the issue of accountability. It provides an analytical disquisition on the duty to prosecute which, as argued herein, must be fulfilled by Cameroon given the violations that have been committed during the ongoing Anglophone Cameroon crisis.

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Author Biography

Derrick T Cho, Faculty of Law, North-West University

Derrick T Cho is a doctoral student at North-West University. His current research focuses on the Anglophone Cameroon crisis with focus on legal measures to hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable.

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Published

2022-03-09

How to Cite

Cho, D. T., & Agbor, A. (2022). Prosecuting Human Violations Committed in the Anglophone Cameroon Crisis: A Disquisition on the Legal Framework. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 25, 1–29. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2022/v25ia11343

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Articles