FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ONGOING CONSULTATIONS FOR AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE ARMED CONFLICT IN THE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS
Conference to examine and establish a majority position and develop a detailed framework for robust post-conflict reconstruction
7th January 2020 – (London | Berlin | Washington D.C) – The Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations(CDN) would like to inform the people of Anglophone Southern Cameroons of an extensive and ongoing consultative process with ALL segments of the Anglophone Southern Cameroons society in view of the possible organization of an international conference bringing together citizens of the Former British Southern Cameroons. Such a conference would be held under the theme:
“Defining a Pathway for Our Future”
The Conference would focus on:
- Engaging all segments and professionals of Anglophone Southern Cameroons, and establishing the majority view in support for a permanent negotiated solution, and
- Developing a detailed framework for a robust post-conflict reconstruction.
Since 2016, security forces of the Government of Cameroon (GoC) and Anglophone Southern Cameroons’ “restorationist/ separatist” forces have been engaged in an escalating armed conflict. In the last three years, more than 12,000 Anglophone Southern Cameroonians have reportedly been killed; thousands more have either been wounded, arrested, or imprisoned; more than 900,000 children are out of school with over 680,000 internally displaced persons; 50,163 registered refugees and approximately 1.9 million face severe hunger. The government’s security forces have systematically burnt down more than 300 villages forcing tens of thousands to flee into the bushes and other countries. The GoC has also reported the death of at least 700 members of security forces and administrative personnel.
In response to multiple calls for inclusive dialogue from local and international parties to address the root causes of the conflict, the GoC held a “Major National Dialogue” and offered a decentralization program including a “Special Status” to the embattled regions. This non-inclusive solution tothe crisis has been categorically rejected by most AnglophoneSouthern Cameroonians. The GoC’s planned municipal elections, scheduled for February 2020, aiming at concealing the “Special Status” has also led to further tensions with no peace in sight.
As the death toll of Anglophone Southern Cameroonians continues to rise and the economic and social fabric of the society is being decimated, it is imperative to bring together all shades of opinion to clarify and adopt the dominant path or position towards a sustainable solution to the conflict; and to constitute expert working groups to begin developing a detailed framework on the difficult tasks of post-conflict reconstruction once a permanent negotiated solution is reached.
In the past two weeks, the Coalition, which was established to accelerate the process to a permanent negotiated solution, has engaged in broad consultations with civil society leaders, all leaders of “restorationist” (separatist) groups, Anglophone Southern Cameroons political leaders, frontline activists, religious and traditional leaders, members of parliament, businessmen and businesswomen, youth leaders, academics, media personalities and members of the diaspora. These consultations have allowed for inputs and critical feedback necessary to ensure success should such a conference be organized.
While these consultations are ongoing, we believe it is critical to sample the opinions of Anglophone Southern Cameroonians on how such a conference could be organized and where (city/country) it could be held. Due to the conflict, it is evident that such a conference cannot be held in Cameroon. We will leave no stone unturned as we work to find a permanent solution. We urge all Anglophone Southern Cameroonians to provide feedback using this link:
The Coalition will stop receiving feedback on 14 January 2020and formally announce the outcome of this consultative process on 17 January 2020 at Noon GMT.
About the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations
The Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations (CDN) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) with the specific goal of facilitating dialogue and negotiation towards ending the war in Anglophone Southern Cameroons. CDN is made of professionals from all works of life and over 20 partner organizations worldwide advocating for an end to the war. CDN members work with its partners to strengthen international involvement in resolving the conflict and building durable peace in the conflict-affected territories.
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