The government of Cameroon has been asked to renew its commitment to dialogue with Anglophone separatists leaders by embracing the Canada-led peace talks, after it distanced itself from the initiative.
In a recent release, the Global Campaign for Peace and Justice in Cameroon said the government should show good faith towards the Canada-led initiative because it is a possible way to end the six years of bloodshed in the Northwest and Southwest regions of the country.
“We call on the Government of Cameroon to renew its commitment to the Canada process. The killings, lawlessness, destruction, and impunity that prevail in the conflict zones have only spawned more violence and insecurity,” wrote the Global Campaign for Peace and Justice in Cameroon.
They added that: “The gathering of representatives from different sides in Canada was a monumental step, and we applaud all involved. For talks to succeed, all parties must come to the table ready to negotiate and compromise, for the sake of the people. In this vein, the Cameroonian government’s solidarity with the Canada process is vital.”
The civil society organisation furthered: “We urge all parties to meet this challenge for peace and justice with vigour, compassion, and patience as true statesmen and stateswomen do. After all, ‘War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace’ (Thomas Mann).
“We encourage the parties and Cameroonians of good faith to vigorously pursue the goals of this process, which are to reach a peaceful, political solution to the violent crisis plaguing the English-speaking regions of the land, and to address the legitimate grievances of the population.”
On January 20, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, Melanie Jolie, announced an ongoing peace process between the Cameroon government and some separatist leaders to end the Anglophone Crisis.
Hon Melanie Jolie said Canada was mediating in the dialogue.
“Canada welcomes the agreement by the parties to enter a process to reach a comprehensive, peaceful and political resolution of the conflict. The parties have also agreed to form technical committees to begin work on confidence-building measures,” the Canadian Minister said.
However on January 23, Cameroon’s Communication Minister, Rene Emmanuel Sadi, said the government has not authorised any mediator or facilitator to end its internal crisis.
The crisis that started in 2016 and later escalated into an armed conflict has killed about 6,000 people and displaced over 1 million, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA.
By Tata Mbunwe