About Ambe M. Bruno

I hold a Masters Degree in Political Science with specialisation in Public Administration and Development Studies. I has served at COMINSUD in fields such as local governance, municipal planning, social inclusion of minority groups and water governance. My activities have contributed to over 4000 inhabitants having access to safe drinking water and clean toilets in the North, Far North and South West Regions of Cameroon.

Evaluation of Public Policy in Cameroon

“What is the role of the population and CSOs in the evaluation of Public Policy in Cameroon and at what point do they come in?”

It was in a bid in seeking strategies in enhancing civil and political rights that Ambe Michel Bruno C. (COMINSUD) attended a capacity building seminar for Civil Society Organisations and Political Parties on the theme “Follow up and Evaluation of Public Policy within the framework of the Implementation of Civil and Political Rights in Cameroon”.

Joining other 35 participants across the Nation, this seminar organised by the Human Rights Commission of the Cameroon Bar, held in Kribi on November 17th and 18th 2016, was focused on strengthening the state of law in Cameroon supported by an active civil society involvement in monitoring and evaluating public policies in Cameroon especially related to the respect of civil and political rights.

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Drilled on the steps and tools in monitoring and valorisation of results of evaluation exercises to stimulate change and action from government for the respect of human rights, COMINSUD as a rights promotion organisation and as the North West Regional Coordinator of RECODH was given the opportunity to share her experience in rights promotion and protection alongside her efforts in strengthening the respect of the rights of freedom of assembly and public demonstration in the North West Region.

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Ambe M. Bruno C. sharing COMINSUDs experiences in Public Policy Evaluation and civil rights protection

Key among the recommendations of the seminar were:

  1. Strengthening of the role of non state actors in the process of conception, implementation, and evaluation of public policies in Cameroon in a general manner and specifically in the domain of civil and political rights.
  2. Strengthening of the powers and prerogatives of parliamentarians in the process of evaluation of public policies in Cameroon.
  3. The amelioration of the legal framework guiding freedom of public assembly and public demonstration in Cameroon to avoid potential public disorder.

written by Ambe Michel Bruno C.

Historic action by Oku and Mbessa Communities in seeking peace

As an aftermath of the peaceful public manifestation walk by over 250 Mbessa a high level consultative peace meeting was held on March 3rd 2016 at the Mbessa Multipurpose Hall.

This meeting had amongst others the Senior Divisional Officers (SDOs) of Bui and Boyo (Nzeki Theophile and Oum II Joseph), the Mayors and Divisional Officers (DOs) of Oku and Belo, the Fons of Oku and Mbessa Villages and a cream of members of their traditional councils.

The historic nature of this meeting is seen in the fact that, in over 30 years, this is the first time a Fon of Oku is visiting the Mbessa Village. The over three hours meeting witnessed frank and open discussions aimed at establishing sustainable peace. Four of COMINSUD’s Peace Volunteers were also able to participate.

Key resolutions from this meeting as agreed by all the stakeholders were that:

  • The people in the disputed land boundary area should shun violence and remain calm for the governor and a regional technical team that will visit the area in the period ahead to demarcate the boundaries of the two communities;
  • More exchange visits between the Oku and Mbessa communities will be carried out to ensure continuous dialogue and sustainable peace;
  • Necessary traditional rites should be carried out by the Fons to enforce peaceful decisions and dialogue.

It is hoped that more efforts will be put to bear for more socio-cultural exchange activities among these communities for sustainable peace as the demarcation process is awaited.

Stay with us to be informed about the progress of this story.

Capacity Development for the implementation of Human Rights

COMINSUD’s Ambe Michel Bruno C. attended a capacity building workshop in the Human Rights and Governance sectors on Planning, Monitoring and Denunciation within the framework of COMINSUD’s position as the North West Regional Coordinator of RECODH.

This workshop, which took place from 19th to 22nd January 2016 in Mbalmayo, was the first national concertation activity geared towards ushering in a new partnership between RECODH and AGEH within the framework of the 3 year project titled: “Capacity Development with RECODH and its Member Organisations for better Accompanying the Populations in enjoying their Rights”. This project is part and parcel of the Civil Peace Service by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

COMINSUD joined 15 other participants (Regional Coordinators and the National Coordination) for the training that enabled the network and their organizations to better participate in the development of the 2016 Action Plan of RECODH at the National, Regional and Divisional levels. Participants were drilled and introduced to the planning tool “ROMA” (Result Oriented Management).

Group Work Exercise on Development of 2016 Action  Plans

Group Work Exercise on Development of 2016 Action Plans

This workshop and AGEH’s support will enable COMINSUD as the Regional Coordinator to effectively link and collaborate with other Civil Society Organizations involved in the protection and defense of human rights in the North West Region (NWR). Through this partnership, RECODH and COMINSUD will be accompanied to engage more effectively in constructive dialogues and influencing decision-making and practices related to human rights issues, and to engage with policy makers at the local level to improve the general environment for the local population in enjoying their rights.

Speaking shortly after the workshop, the Regional Coordinator for the Far North Region, Markeziah Ezechial, said that the training workshop was an important milestone in his work in Human Rights protection and defense and thanked AGEH for the opportunity.

On his part, the representative of COMINSUD said,

“The workshop has helped me; to get a better understanding of the tools and approaches used for monitoring of the implementation of fundamental human rights instruments at the local level; and to get the techniques used for systematic planning and evaluation. Now I am ready to infuse these newly acquired skills into our human rights work at COMINSUD”.

From February 1st, 2016, COMINSUD will join other regional focal points in putting in place the Divisional Focal Points of RECODH, paving way for what is considered will be a progressive and enriching step for the implantation of the network in the 34 councils in NWR.

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) presenting rights issues for the  North West

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) presenting rights issues for the North West

Contribution to the 5th Report to the UN’s Committee Against Torture

…funding by the state to the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom (NCHRF) is in figures and not in substance …

This was part of some of the challenges expressed by the Chairperson of the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedoms, Cameroon while facilitating the Day of Consultation with CSOs on the Elaboration of Cameroon’s 5th Periodic Report to the UN’s Committee Against Torture.

COMINSUD selected from the North West Region (NWR) joined 40 other participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the NCHRF from the 10 regions on January 12th 2016 in Yaounde to

  1. be informed on what the State intends to present to the UN Committee Against Torture within her 5th Periodic Report on all the new measures taken since 2010 to safeguard against torture;
  2. alongside enrich the quality and pertinence of the report to reflect practical field realities of the state of torture in Cameroon since 2010.

This consultation was organised on the heels of the fact that Cameroon had ratified in December 1986 the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishmen.

Torture basically means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person irrespective of the purpose (e.g. punishment, seeking information, discrimination. investigation etc.).

Ratifying this convention and its optional protocol requires Cameroon to submit periodic reports to the UN Committee Against Torture, after every 4 years, with the last report submitted in 2010.

CSOs in working groups had the opportunity to examine the 50-page draft of this 5th periodic report prepared by MINJUSTICE wherein they acknowledged the huge strides made by the state since 2010 in diverse domains such as sanctions against Forces of law and order who inflict torture on detainees and other persons and awareness raising efforts in curbing violence against women.

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) contributing in the working group on  Women's Rights

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) contributing in the working group on Women’s Rights

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Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) contributing in the working group on Rights of Detainees

CSOs however decried inadequacies in the report following practical realities and examples with it lacking information on the reality of overcrowding prisons, difficulties of prisoners and detainees to have access to lawyers, doctors and even visits from family members alongside challenges which stymie the independence of the NCHRF.

With proposals made by the participants with the spirit of enriching the report, the fear still lingered on whether they will be accepted and corroborated in the report by the government in her submission to the UN Committee.

It was therefore unanimously agreed that an alternative report be prepared by the Civil Society and coordinated by the NCHRF pointing out with key verifiable examples some cases of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment happening in Cameroon, while proposing areas of improvement by the state.

16 days of activism: Promoting dialogue and peace within communities

This year we are celebrating the 24th year of the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign“. The 2015 theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All”. Our  29 trained Peace Volunteers joined 32 Volunteers of the Justice and Peace Service, Bamenda to raise awareness and stimulate discussions in their communities on this year’s theme.

They are using November 25th to December 10th 2015 in soliciting the engagement of religious leaders, heads of worship places and educational authorities in promoting messages, reflections and actions that promotes sustainable peace at the family, community, region and country level through:

  • Sending a messages of reconciliation to someone;
  • Sending telephone messages promoting and supporting peace;
  • Seeking to mediate between persons or groups in conflicting situations;
  • Supporting the needs of a needy and vulnerable children in school;
  • Participating in radio call-in programs sharing positive views on peace building;
  • Using Facebook, whatsapp and twitter to share messages for peace.

14 Municipal Councils commit in increasing of budget for the underprivileged

It was following lobbying and advocacy meetings with municipal and traditional council authorities in 14 Councils in the North West Region within the DEW Project of COMINSUD that the dire challenges of vulnerable and underprivileged persons in the municipalities were identified and strategies proffered in the spirit of programme budgeting in tackling these needs over the years.

A huge number of women, orphans, children under 14 years specially the girl child, physically challenged persons, persons from minority groups, PLWHA, widows and the elderly in the communities were identified to be facing critical challenges of discrimination, limited access to basic needs for survival, extreme poverty and much more. Through partnership agreements (MoUs) signed with COMINSUD, the Councils’ decided to increase their budget head for assisting the vulnerable in 2016 by varying percentages: Ako Council 60%, Oku Council: 25% and lots more….

The councils envisaged a minimum of 100 underprivileged persons benefiting from sustainable impacting assistance per council per year, giving 300 in three years thus 1,400 for 14 councils per year and a total 4,200 in three years. This cumulative impact is very significant which when properly implemented, documented and communicated wouldn’t go unnoticed. We encourage other councils to engage and do better.

Councils Involved: Bali, Batibo, Oku, Kumbo, Ndu, Ako, Ndop, Babessi, Belo, Fundong, Njikwa, Bafut, Wum, Benakuma

Municipal and traditional authorities in Oku

Municipal and traditional authorities in Oku

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Municipal and traditional authorities in Ako

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Mayor of Ako committing the collaboration of the council

… Human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected …

This is part of the dream participants of the “Workshop for the elaboration of the 2016-2018 strategic plan of RECODH” shared at the end.

55 representatives of civil society organizations active in human rights promotion and defence from the 10 regions of Cameroon discussed during the workshop hot human rights issues and ways to approach them.

Fon Nsoh (COMINSUD) dicussing in the working group "Land Rights"

Fon Nsoh (COMINSUD) dicussing in the working group “Land Rights”

working group "Right to education"

working group “Right to education”

The participants identified the strategic objectives and developed corresponding activities of these priority themes:

  • Women’s Rights
  • Land Rights
  • Right to Food
  • Right to Education
  • Access to Justice
  • Right to liberties and freedom of Individuals

The Workshop ended with the vision all the organization developed together:

By 2020, Cameroon becomes a state where human rights and fundamental freedoms are effectively respected, without any discrimination, through the performance and credibility of the members and leaders of RECODH, engaged and deployed throughout the national territory.

CNHRO / RECODH is the “Cameroon Network of Human Rights Organizations” or “Reseau Camerounais des Organisations des Droits de L’homme” respectively (www.recodh.org)