The African Union (AU) Commission has dispatched a team of election observers to Cameroon for the October 7 Presidential poll.
In a communiqué signed by the AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the first team of observers dubbed Long Term, made up of 12 persons arrived Cameroon on September 5 and would stay till October 19.
They would be joined later on by a team of Short Term Observation Mission from September 28 to October 10, 2018.
According to Mahamat, the decision is in consonance with the institution’s applicable principles on democracy and human rights.
“The Mission’s mandate is derived from relevant African Union instruments on democracy, elections and human rights, especially the 2007 African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance; the 2002 OAU/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa…..” the press release read.
The Chairman also stressed on the objective of sending such a mission in an electoral period – “the overall objective of African Union Election Observation Missions is to promote democracy and build public confidence in electoral processes in AU Member States.”
However, Moussa Faki Mahamat did not mention whether these observers would also be deployed to parts of the Anglophone Regions, which are engulfed in daily violence.
The National Times contacted the Information Officer at the AU Commission, Robert Gerenge, for more clarification on this, but by the time of making this report, our request had not yet been granted.
The AU observer mission is the first foreign mission to be announced for the election. It is still not known whether other foreign bodies like the European Union, Commonwealth, United States, United Kingdom among others would be sending similar missions owing to the fact that some of these missions and countries have strongly advised their nationals to refrain from the Anglophone Regions. Moreover, with the upsurge of violence, doubts are already being raised about the free and fairness of the election in such areas where even members of Elections Cameroon are unable to work freely.
With the many calls for the African Union to intervene and cause the parties to the conflict to negotiate, the continental organisation has instead presented a blind eye and opted for more political smokescreen measures.