The United States President, Donald Trump has written to the Congress, informing the house of his intent to suspend Cameroon as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The US President cited gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, said to have been committed by the country’s security forces.
In a statement from the White House sent to Congress on October 31, 2019, Donald Trump lamented that “Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of Cameroon, Cameroon has failed to address concerns regarding persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces. These violations include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and torture.”
The White House occupant said the suspension will begin from January 1, 2020, ” I intend to terminate the designation of Cameroon as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under the AGOA as of January 1, 2020. I will continue to assess whether the Government of Cameroon engages in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, in accordance with the AGOA eligibility requirements.” He said.
This is the first direct response from a world power since the crisis escalated in Southern Cameroons since 2016.
The US had previously withdrawn her military from Cameroon citing rights violations. The recent intent by Donald Trump shows that economic sanctions on the government of Cameroon had long been debated. It is even feared that travel bans might follow in the weeks or months ahead.