Cameroon - Intimidation of civil society activists

Source: PWYP Cameroon
Date: 13 Dec 2012

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Yaounde, 07th December 2012

BOUBA Norbert, President of Cellule de Veille et de Protection des Victimes des Activités Minières (Celpro) de FIGUIL currently intimidated for his activities in the North of Cameroon

…..The Cameroon Coalition of Publish What You Pay demands a stop to such intimidations!

The Cameroon Coalition of Publish What You Pay (CCPWYP) vehemently condemns all forms of intimidation towards BOUBA Norbert, President of Cellule de Veille et de Protection des Victimes des Activités Minières (CELPRO), a civil society organization based in Figuil in the North of Cameroon.

According to information that we have obtained, Mr Pierre ROCAGLIA, the General Manager of ROCAGLIA, a company involved in the production of marble in Figuil lodged a complaint against BOUBA Norbert, known for his dynamism and his stance against human rights violations and the injustices of mining companies operating in Figuil. As the president of CELPRO, Norbert has been working relentlessly to ensure the protection of local communities from the negative impacts of mining in his locality and to secure their expected benefits from these mining projects. He has been interviewed thrice on the 12, 15 and 16th of November 2012 at the special branch of the National Police and the Gendarmerie Brigade in Figuil. The convocation of Norbert to the police and the gendarmerie followed a complaint lodged by Pierre ROCAGLIA accusing Norbert of trespass and photographing in his quarry.

The same complaint, subject of his convocation to the Gendarmerie Brigarde was conveyed by the Sub Divisional Officer for Figuil with a message giving orders to the Brigarde Commander to arrest and transfer Norbert to the prosecutor in Guider for “inciting uprising, public disorder”.

A few months ago, Norbert’s organization denounced the absence of mining royalties that is supposed to be paid by companies operating in Figuil. For 40 years neither the local communities nor the council have received the mining royalties as stipulated by law (art 89 of 2001 mining code, art 137 of 2002 decree of application of the mining code). Celpro had also condemned the drowning of a nine year old pupil of government primary School Biou that occurred on August 27 2012 at 4pm at the Rocaglia quarry which is located in the village with no security fence to protect the local communities. It should be recalled that this is not the first incident of death at the Rocaglia quarry. The company has never been punished and nothing has been done by the company to prevent such happenings in the future.

Following the above mentioned observations, The Cameroon Coalition of Publish What You Pay demands that, Rocaglia:

1. Stop all forms of pressure and judicial proceedings against civil society activists like BOUBA Norbert and/or the local population;
2. Take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the population from risks associated to the operations of the company in the zone.

The Cameroon Coalition of Publish What You Pay asks the government of Cameroon to urgently verify for proper understanding why the local communities and council of Figuil have not been receiving mining royalties as provided in the existing legislation

FOR THE CAMEROON COALITION PWYP, THE MEMBERS

1. AGAGES
2. CED
3. DMJ
4. ERA- CAMEROON
5. FOCARFE
6. RELUFA
7. RENAC
8. SeP
9. SNJP
10. TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL- CAMEROON