Mar 2023

It is with dismay that the CRM has become aware, along with public opinion, of a video that has been widely circulated on social networks, in which the singer, songwriter, VALSERO, complains that the General Delegation of National Security of Cameroon (DGSN) has not, to date, followed up on his request for the renewal of his regular passport, which was submitted several months ago, in spite of the many steps he has taken to get it done.

For the record, VALSERO had been arbitrarily arrested on 26 January 2019 and thrown into prison in Cameroon, where he spent more than eight months before being released on 05 October 2019 without judicial conviction.

Having settled in Italy after his release from prison, he had, on 31 October 2022, applied online on the DGSN website via the Cameroonian Embassy in Rome for the renewal of his Cameroonian passport.

While the recent reforms of the DGSN allow for the issuance of an ordinary passport in 48 hours, the silence observed by this administration nearly five (5) months after its referral, undeniably translates the will of the regime to punish VALSERO, whose constant, legitimate, audible, and unwavering commitment to the advent of the rule of law, authentic democracy and good governance in Cameroon is now well established.

This situation is a great concern since, like VALSERO, several of our compatriots living abroad are victims of the same abuses and discrimination because of their political opinions and are therefore de facto assimilated to stateless persons who can no longer travel to Cameroon for lack of a passport. The situation of statelessness does not only result from the deprivation of nationality or the loss of nationality due to the acquisition of a foreign nationality. It can also be a de facto situation that makes it impossible for a citizen to prove or enjoy his or her nationality. This is the case for Valsero and many other compatriots in the diaspora who have been deprived of their Cameroonian passports.

It should be recalled that Cameroon is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that:

  • Article 15 paragraph 1: “Everyone has the right to a nationality”.
  • Article 15 paragraph 2: “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality”.

By the same token, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, also ratified by Cameroon, states that:

  • Article 12 paragraph 4: “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his country”.
  • Article 19 paragraph 1: “Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference”.

It is therefore regrettable that, more than 30 years after the first steps on the road back to democracy in Cameroon, the regime continues to use certain administrations to arbitrarily muzzle Cameroonians.

Such a situation, which plunges the victims into confusion, can only increase frustrations and resentments in a country which more than ever needs appeasement and reconciliation among all its children.

This is why the CRM:

  • Denounces and strongly disapproves of the serious injustice inflicted on VALSERO and all other compatriots who find themselves in the same situation.
  • Invites the Delegate General for National Security to pay particular attention to this situation and to issue VALSERO with the passport he is requesting.
  • Also invites the Delegate General for National Security to issue to any other Cameroonian in the same situation as VALSERO, the passport they are requesting.
  • Calls on the national and international community to bear witness to the multiple abuses and discriminations of which the regime in power in Cameroon is regularly guilty at the expense of some of its citizens, in total disregard of the Constitution and national laws as well as its international commitments.

Done in Yaoundé, 24 March 2023
The National Chairman of the CRM
Maurice KAMTO