By Amos Fofung
Nongovernmental advocacy group, the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations, CDN, which has for some time now being at the forefront of engaging parties, governments, and organizations towards seeking a lasting solution to the deteriorating armed conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, is hoping that the new US administration will step up and engage in concrete actions towards solving the crisis in Cameroon.
The coalition made up of individuals and organizations with mission to end the war in Cameroon and ensure durable peace have in an open letter to the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken urged him to move fast and coordinate the United States intervention towards ending the simmering crisis which has wreaked havoc in the North West and South West regions for over four years now.
The letter signed by Denis Foretia and Judith Nwana Co-chairs of the CDN urged the US government to uphold its rightful place as the guarantor of freedom and human rights and to lead the world in finding a durable solution to this escalating armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons.
“As a coalition of Southern Cameroonians and organizations seeking durable end to this escalating war, we are soliciting the leadership of the United States Government to mobilize international support, that only it can, to bring an end to the bloody armed conflict,” a section of the letter read.
In its February 10, 2021 letter, the coalition specifically urged the US government to designate a special envoy to serve as US meditator tasked to engage with all concerned parties, push the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution requesting immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Cameroon, and finally but most importantly to create and sendto the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon a U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Southern Cameroons (UNIAMSC).
The mission, the Coalition states, will be charged with creating and ensuring the necessary conditions for peace and security to return to the regions.
“This will provide the opportunity for the implementation of a UN-backed mediation process, without any preconditions, between the peoples of the Southern Cameroons and the Government of Cameroon to provide a long-lasting solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict,” he letter added.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) the on-going conflict has affected nearly three (3) million people in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon, created over 700,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), with over 60,000 as refugees in neighboring Nigeria, and an estimated 1.4 million in dire need of humanitarian assistance. For years now, schools have also shut down, with more than 900,000 children unable to attend school.
The CDN believes the only way to successfully cap the humanitarian crisis brewing from the heart of Central Africa will be for the United States to put in place a UN-mandated fact-finding mission, the release of all prisoners associated with the armed conflict, the putting in place of a UN-mandated third party mediation process and an honest mediated settlement addressing the root cause (s) of the conflict