At the end of last week, in the final hours of the 116th Congress, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., helped get a resolution “calling on the government of Cameroon and separatist armed groups from the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions to end all violence, respect the human rights of all Cameroonians, and participate in genuinely inclusive international mediation toward resolving the ongoing civil conflict in Anglophone Cameroon” through the U.S. Senate.
U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the resolution back in September.
“The deadly violence and human rights abuses against the Cameroonian people as a result of the Anglophone conflict has crippled the country’s political and economic development. The international community must do more to speak out against the atrocities of this conflict, and engage all sides to pursue an inclusive and constructive path toward peace and stability,” said Risch when he introduced it. “Resolving this conflict will allow Cameroonians to fully realize their own constitutional and democratic ideals, pursue justice for those whose lives have been lost or destroyed, and restore Cameroon’s robust security and economic partnership with the United States.”
More than a dozen other senators from both sides of the aisle, including U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-NJ, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined Rubio in cosponsoring it. The Senate passed the resolution last week with no opposition.
The senators who backed the resolution, including Rubio, released a joint statement on it on Wednesday.
“While the bipartisan support shown by the U.S. Senate conveys our concern for the human suffering and ongoing marginalization experienced by civilians in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon, it is only a first step in the role the international community, including the United States, must play in encouraging both the Government of Cameroon and armed separatist groups to engage in dialogue, address grievances, end the conflict, and importantly, seek accountability for the atrocities that have been committed,” the senators said. “Due to the leadership shown by the U.S. Senate, we look forward to the United States taking new, concrete steps to encourage real participation in conflict resolution processes, so that the people of the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon can begin to recover from this dark period.”
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