The United States Government on Tuesday expressed concern over protests in Bamenda and Buea communities of Cameroon that later resulted in peoples’ deaths, injuries and destruction of property.
John Kirby, U.S. Department of State’s Assistant Secretary and spokesperson said in a statement that his government would want the Cameroonian Government to protect and defend the peoples’ rights.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the loss of life, injuries and damage as a result of protests that turned violent in Bamenda and Buea, in Cameroon.
“We are also concerned over the recent Cameroonian government’s actions to restrict free expression and peaceful assembly.
“We call on all parties to exercise restraint, refrain from further violence, and engage in dialogue, for a peaceful resolution to the current protests.
“The United States also urges the Government of Cameroon to protect and defend human rights and fundamental freedoms, ensure that all voices are heard and respected,” he said.
The U.S. official also said that his government was also worried over the ten-year prison sentences for persons who exchanged texts referencing Boko Haram.
Mr. Kirby also said the U.S. was concerned about the arrest of 54 members of the opposition Cameroon People’s Party, while they were peacefully holding their party’s meeting.
“The constitution of Cameroon guarantees freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
“We believe that non-threatening rhetoric and activities, especially private conversations and gatherings, warrant neither prosecution nor government censure,’’ he added.