The American organization Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has decided to award its Human Rights Prize 2022 to Maximilienne Ngo Mbe and Felix Agbor Nkongho, human rights defenders in Cameroon. These two activists have been fighting to condemn the violations of the conflict between the army and separatist forces in the two English-speaking regions of the north-west and south-west of the country since 2017.
The Robert Kennedy Center describes the two activists as “brave” figures who “embodied the efforts of civil society. […] in the midst of the conflict, in a limited civilian space, with significant personal risks ”. And a whole symbol,Felix Agbor Nkongho is English speaking, while Maximilienne Ngo Mbeshe is french speaking.
The first is a lawyer, head of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa. Imprisoned by power in 2017, he says he is “shocked” and “excited” about this award. “My father was buried while I was in prison. I therefore dedicate it to my parents, but also to all those whose rights are violated “, he said.
“If you resist, you will be rewarded one day” For Felix Agbor Nkongho, this reward shows that “if you resist, you will be rewarded one day”. The lawyer also sees this recognition as an additional motivation to continue his assignment, but also an encouragement for young activists. “Our lives have been endangered, but this gives us hope,” said the lawyer.
Maximilienne Ngo Mbe adds that this award sends a message to the government and to English-speaking separatists. “It is a symbol to say that our country needs its children, that together we can find solutions,” she said. The director of Redhacetime “that nothing is impossible if there is a continuous, sincere and sincere dialogue”. “We have been sounding the alarm for a long time without anyone listening to us. This award therefore comes to rehabilitate our cries and our tears, she concludes.