By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The 7th edition of the peace event organize by the Nkafu Policy Institute will come up this February 7, 2020, in Douala, Littoral Region of the country. The event will be held under the theme, “Common sense solutions to promote peace in Cameroon- The role of youths, and the civil society.
The peace event like similar ones organized in Yaounde, Douala, Dschang, Limbe, Buea, and Bamenda.
The event will bring together people of various backgrounds to seek to propose citizen oriented solutions through which Cameroon can accelerate its progress towards the resolution of the current conflicts plaguing the country.
Cameroon is presently grappling with numerous issues such as the refugee crisis in the country’s East region, the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s North, the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions.
For the past three years the Cameroon’s defense and security forces have been fighting separatist fighters in the North West and South west Regions. The crisis has led to many killed, maimed, kidnapped for ransom, while others have become refugees or internally displaced persons.
The crisis has equally had a devastating impact on workers of the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC — the second most employer in the country. Many have lost their jobs, and others have gone for years now without salaries. The 3,715 hectares of banana plantation of the CDC, which employs about 7,000 people in the banana industry has been abandoned.
Several businesses have been closed down in the Anglophone regions, industries burnt, local, and foreign investors have deserted these regions.
During the last event organized in Bamenda on December 19, 2019, Cameroonians said the government should dialogue with the leaders of this movement (Separatist leaders) to solve the crisis.
They equally noted that the government cannot seek to solve a crisis which they are still shying away from it, not accepting there is a crisis in the Regions, and deciding to implement cosmetic changes which only going to rub salt on the present injury.
They note that a genuine, well sought out dialogue measures backed by international bodies such as the UN, USA, France, Britain, can be the only way out of this present impasse ongoing in the region that has led to many losing their lives.
The conflict has severely hurt the timber, agro-industry, cocoa, energy, telecommunications, tourism, and transport sectors
According to the United Nations, as of November 2019, more than 2,000 people have died, as many as 71 0,000 people have been internally displaced, and 44,000 refugees have fled to neighboring Nigeria due to the ongoing conflict in the Northwest and Southwest. Roughly 2.6 million people in these areas are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, and more than 855,000 children, the majority of whom are internally displaced, do not have access to education.
During the event, major topics will be looked at such as the Refugee crisis in the East Region of Cameroon, the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions, and the role of the Youths and Civil Society Organization in the promotion of peace in Cameroon.