By Dayo Benson,New York
Latest human rights report compiled by the United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor have listed Nigeria among countries with poor human right practice alongside Cameron and Uganda in 2018. The reports were compiled by human rights officers in US embassy’s across the world.
Other countries listed in the reports contained in a 7,000-page document included Iran, Iraq, Syria, Argentina, Venezuela and other countries that have been beneficiaries of US security assistance and aid.
The reports were presented yesterday via Video conference simultaneously at the Foreign Press Centers in Washington DC and New York.
Commenting on the human rights situations In Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda, a senior official of the bureau,Ambassador Michael Kozak, who presented the reports expressed the US concerns over the three African countries .
According to him.”on Cameroon, we continue to be extremely concerned about the situation there. I mean, not only do you have terrorist organizations, but then you’ve got the dispute between the Anglophone regions and the government – central government. We’ve had many discussions with the Cameroonian authorities about the need to investigate and to hold accountable security forces when they commit abuses. And these are documented in the report. I think you’ll see that.”
Speaking on the Nigeria situation, he stated that it was similar kinds of problems. Specifically, the ambassador noted that the the method adopted in fighting insurgency violated human rights practices.
“ A strong democratic ally, friend of ours, but also facing Boko Haram insurgency and some of the methods that they’ve used in combating that insurgency have led to serious human rights violations. So we’ve raised those, we’ve tried to urge in every possible way we can the government to be more rights-respecting in carrying out its legitimate effort to defend its own territory and sovereignty. And we do this not just because it’s good human rights. It’s also good counter-insurgency.
“ If you want to win a fight like they’re engaged in, you have to do it – in our experience, you have to do it with respect for human rights. If you fail to do that, you often end up adding steam to the other side of the conflict.
And the third?” he queried.
On Uganda, he said “ I think we’ve – I can turn to my cheat sheets here, but I think one of our main concerns there has been LGBT issues and trying to encourage people to be – on that subject generally, we are opposed to criminalization of LGBT status. We’re opposed to gross discrimination in things like provision of government services and in housing and employment, and we’re against societal violence and urging governments to put a stop to that. On the theory, it’s not that LGBT people have some special rights, but they have the same rights as everybody else and shouldn’t be subjected to that kind of mistreatment. So that has been one of our ongoing dialogues with Uganda.
We’ve also been concerned about arbitrary killings, disappearances, torture, political prisoners, criminalization of libel, and corruption. So I think all of these topics you will find laid out in much more detail in the reports