Belgians try Cameroon President for crimes against humanity

President Biya and eleven members of his regime are being tried in absence by the Belgian justice system after the Cameroon citizen Djeukam Tchameni, president of the national group against impunity, handed his petition to judge Daniel Fransen.

This group was formed after Biya came to power in 1982 and it has systematically denounced the excesses of this country’s oppressive regime since the Operational Command was set up in 2000 to maintain order in the coastal province of Duala. There have been complaints of murder, torture, rape, robbery, kidnapping and summary detention, while on 23rd January 2001, nine young men disappeared after having been taken by this elite Special Forces group.

Tchaumeni stated that since it was impossible to obtain justice in his own country, he was forced to take the matter abroad. A law of 1993 allowed the Belgian Courts to try serious crimes committed abroad by any citizen, regardless of nationality. These crimes are those of the nature of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ariel Sharon, the prime Minister of Israel, is also being tried in absence by the Belgian courts for his part in the massacres of civilians in the Lebanon in the 1980s.