In a press release dated April 19, 2019, the Senate President says the European Parliament resolution on Cameroon contains “a litany of falsehoods on the socio-political and security situation in Cameroon”.
“The State of Cameroon, deeply attached to its territorial integrity and its unitary and decentralized status, has through its Government spared no effort in providing ideal solutions to the problems faced in the North West and South West Regions ever since the tabling of the unionist and corporatist claims,” Niat wrote.
He adds that: “the State of Cameroon, open to dialogue, has always taken into account the complaints of all social classes, and provided the appropriate responses.” But Niat failed to state how, when and with whom such dialogue took place and why with all the measures so taken, the crisis remains unending.
“The State of Cameroon has a legislative and parliamentary corpus in compliance with international treaties and agreements. Therefore, and like all other States, it seeks to ensure their respect by all Cameroonian citizens,” Niat adds, as if to justify why all those considered political detainees by the European Parliament will not be freed as recommended by the EU legislators.
The resolution on Cameroon had condemned the 2014 anti-terrorism law. “[The European Parliament] expresses concern that the 2014 anti-terrorism law is being misused to restrict fundamental freedoms; supports the requests made by UN experts that the law be reviewed to ensure that it is not used to restrict the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association,” the EU MPs had said.
Niat claims that “since his accession to the helm of the State, H.E. Paul Biya has committed himself to establish a firmly democratic and liberal State under the rule of law, which grants access to the free expression of individual and collective freedoms” but failed to show how, especially with many detained for simply expressing their opinions. Many are those who see the detention of opposition leader, Maurice Kamto as an insult on basic freedoms of expression.
In what may well be a veiled threat to international actors critical of the Yaoundé regime, Niat appealed to the international good conscience: “The Senate of the Republic of Cameroon, while denouncing the smear campaign against our country, calls on the understanding of its partners of the European Union, particularly those, whom like itself, have been or are currently facing separatist threats and/or terrorist violence which affects the daily lives of our populations.”
The President of the Senate, mindful of the fact that no known Senate Commission of Inquiry has been to the restive regions, writes: “The Senate of the Republic of Cameroon is convinced of the relevance of the measures taken by the State of Cameroon, through its Government, to curb the violence perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorist sect in the Far North Region, and to ease the situation in the North West and South West Regions, for the populations which are victims of these terrorist attacks to get the fulfillment of peace which is their legitimate right.”
Even before a delegation of the Cameroon Senate pays a visit to the North West and South West Regions, Niat is inviting a delegation of European MPs to come and see for themselves the socio-political and security situation in the country.
Hear him: “The Senate of the Republic of Cameroon, which stands proud of its good cooperation ties with the European Parliament, and overall, that of the State of Cameroon with all the Institutions of the European Union, shall be delighted to host a delegation of European MPs in its country, so the latter make their own opinion on the socio-political and security situation of Cameroon.”