The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon has addressed the warring parties in Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis, following a school shooting over the weekend.
In a call to action endorsed by 33 local and international rights and advocacy groups, it says the attack is not the first of its kind from both warring parties.
“The warring parties, notably the Cameroonian security forces and armed separatist groups, have previously burned schools and killed children. These are crimes against humanity. Moreover, the Kumba killings are actionable within the international definition of Six Grave Violations Against Children During Armed Conflict,” the joint statement reads.
The international community, it continues, needs to take more action on Cameroon – and go beyond condemnations.
“The ‘Kumba Massacre’ on United Nations Day 2020, along with the ‘Ngarbuh Massacre’ on Valentine’s Day 2020, add to the long list of atrocities that include beheadings, executions, torture, rapes, mutilations, and arbitrary arrests. What more does the United Nations need to consider the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P) in Cameroon?” the signatories question.
The global campaigners are urging stakeholders to uphold international laws and provide a secure environment for education.
“… the root causes of the Anglophone Crisis are political, and the conflict requires a political, not military, solution,” they said.
“We ask the Cameroonian government to declare a ceasefire and formally commit to finding a negotiated end to the conflict, at inclusive talks mediated by a third party,” they also pressed.
For non-state armed groups, the organization has urged them “… to commit to a ceasefire and participate in talks, and to permit the reopening of schools to afford children their fundamental right of education”.
Months back the UN urged parties in the Anglophone crisis to lower their weapons, to save lives and facilitate the activities of humanitarian workers. The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon thinks the UN and other international bodies need to do more.
“We urge the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, the UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to obtain immediately from the warring parties, notably the Cameroonian government and separatist groups, signed or public declarations committing to a ceasefire and inclusive peace negotiations conducted by a credible third party,” they said.
The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon is also commending efforts by all bodies, to see that the four-year Anglophone armed conflict come to an end. “We jointly plead with all Cameroonians and friends of Cameroon to take action NOW for a ceasefire and peace negotiations to #EndAnglophoneCrisis”.
The call it should be recalled is not the first of its kind.
Months back, former presidents and Nobel laureates called for a ceasefire in the North West and South West regions, citing humanitarian reasons and COVID-19.
Mimi Mefo Info