The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the second and third reports of Cameroon on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/CMR/2-3) at its 41st to 43rd meeting (E/C.12/2011/SR.41 à 43), held on 21 and 22 November 2011.
In Cameroon, hunter-gatherers and Mbororo constitute the largest groups of Indigenous Peoples. Cameroon voted in favor and adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, but has not yet ratified ILO Convention 169.
The Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon uses the Indigenous and minority terms in its preamble. However, it is not clear who this refers to. However, with the evolution of international law, civil society and the government increasingly use the term Indigenous to refer to Indigenous Peoples in Cameroon.
The Baka, Wodaabe and other Indigenous Peoples in Cameroon
0.4% of the total population of Cameroon are hunter-gatherers known as Bagyéli or Bakola, which is estimated to number some 4,000 people, the Baka, estimated at around 40,000, and the Bedzan, estimated at around 300 people. The Baka live above all in the eastern and southern re- gions of Cameroon. The Bakola and Bagyéli live in an area of around 12,000 km2 in the south of Cameroon, particularly in the districts of Akom II, Bipindi, Kribi and Lolodorf. Finally, the Bedzang live in the central region, to the north-west of Mbam in the Ngambè Tikar region.
The Mbororo people living in Cameroon are estimated to number over one million and they make up approx. 12% of the population. They live primarily along the borders with Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic. Three groups of Mboro- ro are found in Cameroon: the Wodaabe in the Northern Region; the Jafun, who live primarily in the North-West, West, Adama- wa and Eastern Regions; and the Galegi, popularly known as the Aku, who live in the East, Adamawa, West and North-West Regions.
Progress: Political participation and recognition
Through their respective organizations, Indigenous Peoples participated in the activities of CISPAV (Committee of Suivi des Programs et Projets Impliquant les Poblations Autochtones Vulnérables). This committee was created by the Ministry of Social Affairs, and its objectives are the identification and centralization of needs for the socioeconomic inclusion of Indigenous Peoples, the evaluation of human, technical and financial resources available and necessary to implement the main development activities in favor of Indigenous Peoples: coordination and supervision of all programs within the different sectoral administrative bodies, NGOs and CSOs in favor of Indigenous Peoples: make proposals on how to improve all actions that can better serve the indigenous peoples Indigenous Peoples.
In 2017, all the laws that came under review that year, such as forest and wildlife laws, the law on land tenure and the pastoral code to which Indigenous Peoples and civil society made important contributions. They are still pending approval.
In 2018, with the creation of the Platform of Indigenous Peoples and the REDD + process, Indigenous Peoples will be able to position themselves better and have a greater capacity for negotiation in the process to obtain benefits for their communities.
For the past 25 years thousands of poor Cameroonians have been subjected to serious human rights abuses by Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, a powerful multi-millionaire commercial rancher and a member of the Central Committee of the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM) Party. As the biggest landowner after the state in the NW Region, he uses police, gendarmes, courts and government officials to persecute defenceless subsistence farmers, cattle herders, opposition activists and human rights defenders. In 2003, the Office of the President of Cameroon ordered an investigation into his exactions. Hundreds of victims gave testimonies but since then the recommendations of the Commission have not been implemented by the Prime Minister’s Office.