Pygmies in Cameroon Victims of Forest Dispute

Baka pygmies in Cameroon are victims of “ecoguards” abuses.

In a far area in Central African rainforest, two main charity groups are in dispute against the future of about 50,000 pygmies who are inflicted with hunger, poverty and alcoholism after they were forced to leave their lands to protect the gorillas and elephants.

Since wildlife populations are becoming more endangered, many conservation groups are putting millions of dollars into projects to protect the habitats of these animals which most censors claims more often than not put animals before people.

The Survival International, a group promoting for the rights of tribal populace in Cameroon, has indicted the World Wildlife Fund for Nature of financing anti-poaching security personnel who have compacted and murdered Baka pygmies with immunity.

Survival International also states that WWF has breached international guidelines by facilitating in the creation of three national commons within Baka land with no endorsement from the inhabitants several years ago which the WWF repulses.

After being ejected from their ancestral land, the Baka pygmies who are mostly illiterate now live in shelters made of bamboo, leaves and mud-baked bricks along the roads of Cameroon’s southeast regions, just beside the protected areas wherein a permit is needed before they can enter.

According to an Africa campaigner, Michael Hurran, if WWF can’t stop the abuses and can’t obtain the approval of Baka, they should leave the territories.

The disputes continue and an official at the Forest Ministry of Cameroon claims that the arrival of poachers and criminals from neighboring Central African countries forced for the boosting of securities in the area which is referred by the rights groups as abuse by the Baka guards.

Baka pygmies and other indigenous people would profit if Cameroon’s laws were modified to permit the pygmies hunt and collect in the forest, Terry Sunderland of the Centre for International Forestry Research said.

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