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Cameroon: Military Aid

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 116085, tabled on 1 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) impact of training provided by UK armed forces to the Cameroon Battalion d’Intervention Rapide (BIR) in the context of allegations from human rights groups of involvement of the BIR in human rights abuses against civilians in Anglophone regions of Cameroon.

Answered on

8 February 2022

The UK military team providing capacity building for the Battalion d'Intervention Rapide (BIR) regularly assess the effectiveness of the training provided. Their assessment is that the BIR is a credible and effective partner force, having a positive effect on containing the spread of violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin. A Conflict, Stability and Security Fund team visited Cameroon in November 2021 to evaluate the effectiveness of the military assistance provided to the BIR and they concluded that the training provided is effective. The evaluation team also noted allegations concerning past BIR misconduct, most recently dated from 2017 and 2018, and that no evaluators, including human rights observers and Cameroonian civilians, could identify or confirm any recent allegations involving BIR units or personnel trained by the UK.