The US ambassador to Cameroon has hit out at the central African country’s government, accusing its forces of carrying out “targeted killings” and other human rights abuses in its battle against English-speaking separatists.
Peter Henry Barlerin released the strongly-worded statement following a meeting with Cameroon’s leader, Paul Biya.
Mr Barlerin uses the statement to apportion blame on both sides, while calling for reconciliation:
On the side of the government, there have been targeted killings, detentions without access to legal support, family, or the Red Cross, and burning and looting of villages.
On the side of the separatists, there have been murders of gendarmes, kidnapping of government officials, and burning of schools. People on both sides of the conflict have engaged in speech that dehumanises the opposite side.”
He also revealed he asked Mr Biya – who has been in power for more than 40 years – to turn his mind to the October elections, and how he wants to be remembered.
Mr Balerin added he “proposed that George Washington and Nelson Mandela were excellent models” for Mr Biya.