Early today, the Southern Cameroons Defence Force (SOCADEF) heeded to the UN’s call, announcing a 14 day ceasefire in the restive North West and South Regions of Cameroon.
A bloody conflict between government forces and separatists fighting for and independent state of Ambazonia in these country’s English-speaking communities has claimed more than 3000 lives and displaced over one million.
Barely hours after the call for ceasefire backed by the Southern Cameroons Defence Force, SOCADEF, the United Nations has welcomed the move.
In a March 26 note to correspondents, “the body’s Secretary-General calls on other armed groups to do likewise.”
“The Secretary-General reiterates his call for renewed dialogue that will address all relevant issues in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon and that will put an end to the violence and human suffering” the body noted, adding that he “reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to assist the authorities and the people of Cameroon in this regard.”
On March 24th, UN Secretary General had made a global appeal for an “immediate ceasefire” to protect civilians trapped in conflict zones from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is time to put the armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” he had said, asking warring parties worldwide to “Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes.”
Despite measures taken a week ago to combat the coronavirus, the Cameroon government has remained mute regarding the crisis hit regions but for President Paul Biya’s multiple promises to crush the Separatists.
President Paul Biya’s peace talks in 2019 was boycotted by separatists. His regime has vowed that the form of the state is “not negotiable” imposing an-over 20-year-old decentralisation on the disgruntled masses.
It remains unclear if the government will accept the “olive branch”.
Mimi Mefo Info