The United States Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Mr. Tibor Nagy, would be ending his third African tour with a visit to Cameroon on March 17 and 18.
Cameroon, long described as one of the most stable countries in central Africa, has been embroiled in a regional war against Boko Haram terrorists since 2014, and an internal conflict between the central government and Anglophone separatists in the Northwest and Southwest regions since late 2016.
Nagy’s visit, the fourth and final stop on a four-nation tour of Africa that has also included visits to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, comes days after the State Department released its 2018 human rights report, and concluded that gross violations continue to occur in Cameroon.
As Boko Haram terrorists massacre civilians in Cameroon, security forces also often engage in extrajudicial killings in the country’s far north where the conflict continues to rage.
It is the same situation in dealing with Anglophone separatists. Both sides, in order to advance their own agendas, often end up using excessive force, including killing and kidnapping innocent civilians.
In a telephonic press briefing from Kigali in Rwanda early this week, Mr Nagy called for dialogue in Cameroon to stop the more than two years of bloodshed. “My heart breaks” about Cameroon, he told reporters.
Secretary Nagy’s visit, officials in Washington D.C. say, aims at advancing the constructive partnership the United States and Cameroon have enjoyed since the establishment of bilateral relations in 1960 when the central African nation gained independence from France.
Both governments would reaffirm the desire to work together to eradicate terrorism and piracy, promote regional security and stability, and advance economic growth and environmental protection.
While in Cameroon, Assistant Secretary Nagy’s activities will include meetings with Cameroonian government officials and a visit to a U.S. company that has a presence there.
Both nations have been collaborating over the years on an increasingly diverse range of issues that are of enduring importance to both nations and the entire continent.