ECCAS, UNOCA call for peaceful elections in Cameroon

Politicians across the nation have begun campaigning ahead of the February 9 elections amid persisting calls for boycott in the restive North West and South West regions. Barely days away to the twin polls in Cameroon, the Economic Community of Central African States, ECCAS and the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, UNOCA have both called for peace and understanding during the process.

In a joint communiqué, ECCAS Secretary General, Ahmad Allam-Mi, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNOCA, François Louncény Fall, say they are closely monitoring the sociopolitical situation in the country.

This comes after a joint visit to Yaoundé from 19 to 23 January 2020.

Whole in Cameroon, they had highlighted the need for the electoral process to unfold in peaceful and secure conditions across the country.

They also condemned what they said were attempts to restrict fundamental rights, especially by way of threats or violence intended to prevent the electorate from exercising their right to vote. It is in this light that they have “urged all actors involved in the electoral process in Cameroon to foster peaceful conditions and continue working towards the well-being of Cameroonians” the communiqué reads.

“In that regard, they encourage political parties, candidates and their supporters to resolve disputes through legal channels and dialogue. They invite, in particular, the media and social media users to refrain from any speech inciting hatred, violence and division, and appeal to them to promote the values of peace and social cohesion” they add.

Lauding the holding of capacity-building workshops for the staff of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) and journalists, which were organized by ECCAS with the technical support of UNOCA, “the ECCAS Secretary General and the Head of UNOCA stress that peaceful, free and transparent elections on 9 February will be a decisive step towards the strengthening of stability and democratic gains”.

Both officials also “reiterate the determination of their respective institutions to continue working closely with national authorities, regional organizations and all other stakeholders to contribute to achieving these results and sustainable development in Cameroon”.

Their call for peaceful election comes after weeks of threats on politicians and the population of the Anglophone regions by Ambazonian fighters who say government must first yield to their demands.

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