Resolution on Cameroon
OSLO COUNCIL - Global Solidarity, 18-19 May 1998
The Council of the Socialist International represents, by definition, a focal point of global solidarity which is the concern of all.
Social justice and equal opportunities form part of the essential values upheld by every member of the Socialist International.
Democracy is the most viable way of expressing such values, and democracy cannot subsist without a democratic system governed by clear and equitable laws which respect majority rule.
The respect for such a majority also presupposes respect for individual liberties, human rights and the uprooting of institutionalised corruption.
As this balance has been disrupted in Africa, particularly in Cameroon, the Council of the SI:
Considering that iniquitous and contradictory laws are regularly being violated by the very people who framed them, or who have the duty to ensure their enforcement;
Considering that the Cameroonian electoral system and the massive irregularities and frauds which occur at all Cameroonian elections have constantly been condemned by international observers (including the NDI, IFES, the Community of French-speaking countries and the Commonwealth);
Considering that arbitrary arrests, torture, imprisonment without trial and assassinations of members of the opposition, editors, journalists and ordinary citizens are constant and commonplace in Cameroon, and that this situation is regularly being condemned by international human rights organisations;
Considering that the absence of democracy, individual liberties and the permanent violation of human rights, laws and regulations, and the lack of transparency in the management of public affairs constitute manifest evidence of bad government which is promoting a socially explosive situation and Cameroon's increasing indebtedness;
Notes with deep regret that by refusing to submit to constitutional procedures to ensure transparency in the acquisition of wealth by Cameroonians who direct public institutions and services, the President is promoting the very corruption which he claims to combat;
Underlines that the situation in Cameroon and the consequences which flow from it strengthen the bad image of a large number of African States;
Condemns the existence of a State which claims to be constitutional but which fails to make clear and socially just laws, and fails to abide by such laws;
Demands an electoral system which guarantees free and transparent elections, under the control of an independent election committee;
Further demands the abolition of all bad laws which contribute to the loss of liberties for the individual and the press, and which encourage arbitrary arrest and imprisonment;
Urges, within the framework of solidarity within the Socialist International family, that every member party take up the cause of democracy and human rights in Africa - and in Cameroon in particular - by imposing legal, political and economic sanctions against States shown to have violated these universal values;
Further urges member parties to participate in the struggle against the diversion of public funds and corruption;
In conclusion, the problems affecting Cameroon constitute a reflection of the challenges which face Africa, and the Socialist International will continue to support and work energetically with the democratic forces in the region.