Ebenezer Ntebo Awungafac

Cameroon

At a Glance

Ebenezer Ntebo Awungafac is an Anglophone Cameroonian civil society activist and a founding member of Global Conscience Initiative, which he has led since 2010. He holds a Masters in Public Law from the University of Douala and has spent nearly two decades advocating tirelessly for equality and justice in Cameroonian society.

As part of his work in promoting the rights of detained activists and other prisoners, he was subjected to death threats, arbitrary detention, and torture in Cameroon.

In 2015, he came to Canada as a refugee claimant and is seeking the right to remain in Canada.

Ebenezer initially approached Canadian organizations for assistance, but found himself turned away. His story is typical of the difficulties facing Anglophone Cameroonians outside their country because their plight is not well understood outside West Africa and even within the region.

In 2017, Ebenezer approached Pearl Eliadis, CCIJ Chair, for assistance in telling his story and seeking justice. A new research team was created in 2018 with the support of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) and the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism with the aim of preparing a public report on the crisis in the Anglophone regions. Ebenezer was among the team’s strategy group, which featured several Cameroonian members of the diaspora.

In June 2019, the team issued a major report detailing ongoing human rights violations and crimes against humanity being perpetrated in the Anglophone region of Cameroon. The groundbreaking report, Cameroon’s Unfolding Catastrophe, was launched with members of the Cameroonian Diaspora at the 2019 #RightsCity Conference in Montreal, convened by the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies and Human Rights.

The report has received global attention and spearheaded renewed efforts to get and keep the matter of the Cameroonian Anglophone Crisis on the global agenda and before the UN Human Rights Council for its Fall 2019 Session.

On June 24, 2019, with the support of Equitas, Ebenezer and another member of the Cameroonian diaspora, Olivia Leke, presented a workshop on the Cameroonian crisis as part of the International Human Rights Training Program. The workshop was attended by 25 members of the IHRTP, including several West African activists and rights defenders.

The CCIJ Board of Directors is thrilled to include Ebenezer’s story as an emblematic case study of the challenges faced by smaller communities in sub-Saharan African states, and by individual victims of government security and law enforcement officials who have suffered arbitrary arrest, severe and arbitrary detention and cruel treatment. His story is only one of many. We hope that it will embolden others to come forward and tell theirs.

Photographer: Zoe Yalden

In His Own Words

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