Cameroon, hitherto considered an island of peace in a turbulent environment, seems to have lost that cherished appellation.
The country today is battling to resolve a three-year-old armed conflict in the Anglophone regions of the country and Boko Haram in the Far North Region.
There is also the spillover effects of a sectarian conflict in the Central African Republic that is troubling the East Region of Cameroon. Kidnappers have also found safe sanctuary in the Adamaoua Region.
Observing the International Day of Peace this 21st September 2019 in Cameroon, comes when the country is grappling to restitute peace through a national dialogue to hold from September 30th to October 4th, 2019.
Dialogue by the true sense of the word is welcome but going by the words of Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace prize winner: “If you want peace don’t talk to your friends, talk to your enemies.”
Critics are pessimistic that the envisaged peace in Cameroon might not be a reality when separatist leaders and those detained following post election violence are not part of the national dialogue.
While addressing the Cameroon Bar Association in November 2018, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle reiterated that justice remains an indispensable item in the process of peace. The International peace crusader and former President of the Bar General Assembly holds firmly that violence, war, hatred, maiming, killings, and torture are all forms of bad things set in a society where injustice has planted its roots.
He therefore challenged Cameroonians across the board to live and practice justice for peace to eventually set in.
Today, most Anglophones feel that the government that is dominated by people of the Former East Cameroon (La Republique du Cameroun) has marginalized them for over five decades, a claim president Paul Biya waved aside during his address to the nation last September 10, 2019.
As Cameroonians go to the dialogue table from the 30th of September, it would be proper to remind them of the words of ace American guitarist, Jini Hendrix who said: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
Cameroonians expect resolutions that will place the interest of the common man above the thirst for power and wealth for few individuals.
Mimi Mefo Info.