RFI-It has been five months as of this Tuesday since leaders of the proclaimed Ambazonia Republic were arrested in Nigeria. A few weeks later after arrest, they were extradited to Yaounde. Forty-seven people in total, the president and several movement leaders arrested in Abuja, as well as activists arrested near the border with Cameroon. All are therefore today in the Cameroonian capital, but little is known about their fate. Five months after their arrest in Nigeria, English-speaking separatists are still detained at the SED, the State Secretary for Defense.
The authorities are content to say that they respect the legal procedures enforced in Cameroon. These 47 activists are detained under the anti-terrorist law and in terrorism cases, custody lasts 15 days, but can be renewed without limits.
On the other hand, according to several sources, the detainees have still not been able to receive visits from their families or lawyers. This makes the self-proclaimed Republic of Ambazonia say that it is not an arrest, but an abduction.
The National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms has also not met with separatist activists. Since January, regulations require the commission to be accompanied by a prosecutor to visit people imprisoned in the context of the Anglophone crisis and the multiple requests of this commission have resulted in a negative response.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who had denounced a violation of the principle of non-refoulement at the time of the extradition of separatists to Cameroon in late January, he also has no news.
As one UNHCR spokesman puts it, “we have no access or information on refouled people, despite requests from the authorities. “