11th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples
New York, USA
7th to 18th May 2012
By Rahamatu M. Sali
On Behalf of the Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association (MBOSCUDA)
Agenda Item 4: Human Rights
Thank you Madam Chair
Ladies and Gentlemen, good day. I will like to remark that Cameroon is one of the states that have supported the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples and there is some progress in that regards. The International Day of the Indigenous Peoples that has been officially celebrated in Cameroon for the past three years—mostly spearheaded by the Ministry of Social Affairs together with other United Nations agencies like the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UN Regional Centre for Human Rights in Central Africa. Although some efforts are being made by the Cameroonian government to see that the UNDRIP is implemented, the Mbororo people continue to face a lot of setbacks—especially in regards to human rights violations. Mbororo-Fulani of Cameroon, a cattle-herding tribe has for the past twenty years endured gross human rights violations from the hands of a powerful land landowner and commercial rancher and a member of the central committee of the rolling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM), Baba Ahmadou Danpullo. Mr. Danpullo’s human rights violations against the Mbororo pastoralist range from displacement of hundreds of Mbororo families without compensation, extortion, imprisonment, destabilization of Mbororo traditional institutions, seizure of property and forceful marriage to Mbororo minors against their wishes. In 2011, Mr. Danpullo intensified his efforts in targeting the Mbororo pastoralist by using his privateTV channel, the Danpullo Broadcasting Systemto ridicule Mbororo leaders and promote xenophobia against indigenous forest people. Furthermore, he issueda ban on the sale of horses by Mbororo pastoralists. Following this ultravires“law” several horse traders were arrested and their horses seized by gendarmes under the directive of Mr. Danpullo. The operation took place across three regions of Cameroon.
Madame Chair, the Mbororo People havesuffered unjust and inhuman treatment from the hands of Mr. Danpullo for over two decades with impunity and support from some corrupt government officials. We do not understand how a private citizen should have absolute control over a Gendarmerie post, a Sharia Court and detention cell in his private business premises and for him and his immediate family member to have
Cameroon Diplomatic Passports. Although with increased lobbying and advocacy efforts nationally and internationally many facts finding missions have been carried out but unfortunately , until date very little have been achieved and no results ever published.
We therefore call on the international community to intervene by urging the Cameroon government to:
- Fully implement the Jani Commission Report transmitted to the Prime Minister’s Office by the Office of the President of the Republic for full implementation in 2004, including the liberation of illegally expropriated lands by Baba Ahmadou Danpullo’s ELBA Ranch.
- To follow up the communicationof the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights and fundamental freedom of indigenous peoples sent to the Cameroon government in 2007 with recommendations in regards to the human rights abuses against Mbororo people.
- Stop further violations of the Mbororo and Forest Peoples (popularly known as “Pygmy” in Cameroon) and prosecute perpetrators and adequately compensate all victims including his women victims.
- Specifically prosecute Danpullo Broadcasting System (DBS) TV for promoting xenophobia, hate and discrimination against indigenous ‘Pygmy’ and Mbororo peoples.
- Order Baba Amadu Danpullo to give back the livestock (cattle, horses and sheep) illegally seized from many Mbororo and non-Mbororo individuals and families, and release those innocently detained.
- Comply with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially: Articles 1, 2, 5 (b) & (c), 6 (b) and 12.2
- Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Cameroon.
For more information may I refer you to the following websites of documented information with all the necessary evidences for over 20 years?
www.justice-dignity.net, www.facebook.com/justiceDignity, www.youtube.com/user/justice&dignity, Thank you for listening