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'They're going to be killed': Activists protest deportation of Cameroon immigrants

“If you don’t secure the life of people, people will flee to seek refuge,” said Blake Mewell.
Credit: Angelica Andrade

TEXAS, USA — Dozens of activists rallied outside of Alliance Airport and Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado to stop the deportation of migrants from Africa. 

According to activists, 60 of the individuals sought asylum in the United States due to the Civil War in Cameroon, also known as the Ambazonia War. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not confirmed the number of individuals or their country of origin slated to be deported Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Posted by North Texas Dream Team on Tuesday, October 13, 2020

“I know if they deport them back to Cameroon they’re going to be killed, they’re going to be assassinated, they’re going to be locked up,” said Blake Mewell.

The Cameroon native has been in the United States for six years and says individuals who attempt to leave the country are often killed.  

The Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement has been in power since 1985. Paul Biya was elected president on Nov. 6, 1982.

In 2017, the southern region of Cameroon declared their independence from the Cameroon government. Dr. Daniel Tangumonkem with the organization Southern Cameroon explained that when that occurred war ensued.

“The other part (Cameroon) doesn’t want to let go, and that is why the killings have increased,” said Tangumonkem.

The organizer said that Southern Cameroonians have been pleading to the United Nations and other world powers to investigate their situation and ensure that their freedoms are guaranteed.  

The U.S. Department of State: 2019 report on Human Rights Practices in Cameroon confirms such allegations, indicating that human right issues have been raised for unlawful or arbitrary killings, forced disappearances by security forces, torture and other human right violations.

“If you don’t secure the life of people, people will flee to seek refuge,” said Mewell

Mewell says to reduce the number of individuals seeking refugee in the United States, the problem in Cameroon and other African countries need to be solved.

According to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2019, less than .03% of deportees were from Cameroon. 

“We are telling the world to look into this situation and consider the refugees, the lives that are being wasted because of the bad policies these individuals (Cameroon government) are making,” said Tangumonkem.

He adds that if it weren’t for the civil war, individuals would not be fleeing in the mass numbers seen now.