Transitional Justice in Anglophone Cameroon: Perspectives and lessons from South Africa and Rwanda




Transitional justice, human rights violations, Anglophone Cameroon crisis, truth and reconciliation commission, criminal prosecution


Since the fall of 2016, Anglophone Cameroon has endured the scorching stench of an internal political conflict between security forces and separatist militia groups, in which numerous human rights violations have been committed. Given the magnitude of these violations, they have been categorised as serious crimes in international law (crimes against humanity). While international law urges the prosecution of perpetrators, this paper, acknowledging the rule of law as a relevant tool in transforming and shaping societies, nonetheless opines that in post-conflict scenarios, the responses of states are not always influenced by the rule of law, as they sometimes involve factors that have no legal bearing or backing. These responses have been recognised generally to constitute components of transitional justice. This paper thus views transitional justice as comprising all the measures which states usually turn to in search of ways to respond to past atrocities, whether legal, non-legal or a combination thereof. This paper argues that the situation in Anglophone Cameroon has reached unprecedented levels of violence and given the degree of victimisation and mayhem caused to society, there is a need for transitional justice, in order to give closure to victims and restore stability. To suggest the form such transitional justice may take, the paper uses a comparative methodological approach in examining the transitional justice perspectives of South Africa and Rwanda, to assess what lessons could be drawn from them in respect of how they dealt with their legacies of past abuses. The paper recommends the establishment of an Anglophone Cameroon Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (ACTJRC).


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Author Biography

Derrick T Cho, 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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How to Cite

Cho, D. T. (2024). Transitional Justice in Anglophone Cameroon: Perspectives and lessons from South Africa and Rwanda. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 27, (Published on 21 June 2024) pp 1–28.




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