Among the four bills which were tabled yesterday at the National Assembly during the parliamentary session were draft laws to combat against tribalism and hate speech in Cameroon.

The bill which criminalises and punishes the acts was tables yesterday November 13, 2019 for consideration by the National Assembly. The minister of Justice and keeper of the seals Laurent Esso shall before the National Assembly defend these bills for validation.

Cameroon parliament

With such provisions, reports say the legislator will henceforth consider such acts as “outrage to a tribe”.

The bill is coming at a time when it has been observed that the acts of tribalism and community hate speech among Cameroonians have been so common for several months now. A lot have been demonstrated by supporters of political parties.

Supporters of rival political parties like the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM) have been exchanging words of hatred over social networks against each other.

According to senator Mbella Moki Charlse, tribalism and hate speech endangers peace, security and national unity of the country. “I am very confident that the bill will be supported by MPs on both sides of the House,” he said

The modification of this law implies that such irregular behaviours could be punishable by law with one to two years imprisonment, with a fine ranging from three hundred thousands (300.000 FCFA) to three million francs cfa for any offender convicted of being an apologist for tribalism through hate speech or incitement to violence against individuals based on their ethnicity or tribe.

The penalties, according to the bill will be doubled without minimising the circumstances when the author of the hate speech is an official, the head of a political party, the media, a non-governmental organization or a religious institution.