The Cameroon Human Rights Commission, CHRC, has called on Ambazonia separatist fighters to down their weapons for 24 hours to commemorate the International Day of Peace observed every September 21.
On its official Facebook page, the CHRC said they should “observe twenty-four hours of non-violence and free of any exactions” and that they should “make a significant gesture towards lasting peace, a vector of development”.
“The Commission commends and further encourages the populations of the Far North, North-West and South-West Regions who are, for the majority, in favour of the return and maintenance of peace in these regions, and who relentlessly denounce the terrorists hiding in their respective localities while providing support to the defence and security forces,” the CHRC wrote.
This year’s International Day of Peace is being commemorated under the theme, “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for Global Goals”.
The day was instituted in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate ideals of peace through a 24-hour ceasefire worldwide.
In a speech to mark this year’s commemoration, the UN’s Secretary-General, António Guterres, said the world needs peace today more than ever.
“War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization,” the UN scribe said.
This year’s International Day of Peace is the seventh edition since armed separatist conflict broke out in the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon in 2017.
Human rights excesses, including torture, arson, arbitrary arrests and detention, kidnapping, summary killings and school boycotts, have been enormous. Non-governmental organisations have continually faulted both Ambazonia separatist fighters and the Cameroon military for abusing and killing civilians.
Calls for the Cameroon Government to dialogue with separatists have been futile. Rather, the latter dampened hopes for a quick end to the conflict when the Secretary General at the Presidency distanced Cameroon from much-saluted peace talks the Canadian Government was mediating early this year.