272/03 Association of Victims of Post Electoral
Violence & INTERIGHTS / Cameroon
272/03 Association of Victims of Post Electoral Violence & INTERIGHTS v Cameroon

Summary of the Facts
1. The communication had been initiated against the Republic of Cameroon, State Party1 to the African
Charter, by two Non Governmental Organisations (NGO); The Association of the Victims of Post Electoral
Violence of 1992 of the North West Region, headquartered in Bamenda, Cameroon; and The International
Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS)2 , headquartered in London, UK.
2. In the communication, the complainants contend that on the 23rd October 1992, in reaction to the
confirmation by the Supreme Court of Cameroon of the victory of the candidate Paul Biya of the Cameroon
Peoples' Democratic Party (CPDM) in the presidential elections of the 11th October 1992, the members of
the Social Democratic Front (SDF), the Principal Opposition Party, attacked the symbols of the State and
the militants of the Party which won the elections, in the city of Bamenda, their Party stronghold.
3. Property belonging to CPDM militants and to other citizens are said to have been destroyed. The
damages caused to Messrs. Albert Cho Ngafor and Joseph Ncho Adu are estimated at one billion CFA
francs for each of them. Damages to the tune of 800 million CFA francs are said to have been caused to
about a hundred other individuals.
4. Certain victims such as Mr. Albert Cho Ngafor, who had been sprayed with petrol, were moreover
subjected to serious physical attacks.
5. In consequence the Cameroonian Authorities arrested certain individuals presumed to be responsible for
these events; the said Authorities also set up, in February 1993, a Committee responsible for the
compensation of the victims.
6. However, having waited in vain for their compensation, the victims of the post electoral violence of
Bamenda organised themselves into an Association and embarked on certain activities in order to have the
matter settled amicably.
7. This method however proved fruitless, as, in spite of firm promises made by the President of the
Republic, who had been approached in the context of the measures taken towards an amicable settlement,
no concrete result had been obtained by the victims of the violence.
8. On the 13th March 1998, the victims of the Bamenda events brought an appeal for responsibility against
the Cameroonian State to the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court. The appeal in question had
been recorded on the 22nd April 1998 by the Clerk of Courts, under the number 835/97-98.
9. On the 16th July 1998, the Government of Cameroon reacted, requesting the Supreme Court to declare
the victims' submission inadmissible and since then, the proceedings have been blocked in spite of all the
efforts made by the Counsels of the complainants, with the support of certain administrative Authorities, like
the Commissioner of the District of Mezam (home region of the victims).

The Complaint
10. The complainants allege the violation of Articles 1, 2, 4, 7 and 14 of the African Charter by the Republic
of Cameroon. In consequence, the complainants are requesting the African Commission to:
• Declare the refusal by the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court of Cameroon to consider
their appeal against the Government of Cameroon as contrary to the principles of the right to a fair
hearing, as stipulated by the African Charter in its Article 7 and by the relevant provisions of other
international human rights instruments;
• Note that the Government of Cameroon has not respected its obligation to protect the physical
integrity (Article 4) and property (Article 14) of individuals living on its territory or under its
• Request the Government of Cameroon to pay full compensation for the damages suffered by the
victims of the post electoral violence in Bamenda;


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