Postponement of the International Conference on the Armed Conflict in the Southern Cameroons

//Postponement of the International Conference on the Armed Conflict in the Southern Cameroons

June 3, 2020-(London | Berlin | Washington D.C)–The Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiation (CDN), has concluded consultations with Washington D.C. local health officials and George Washington University event management team about the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the prospect of holding the three (3) day International Conference on the Armed Conflict in the Southern Cameroons” at the George Washington University in June 2020. The coalition has equally consulted with its partners within the international community. Putting the safety of all participants first, the Coalition hereby announces its decision to postpone the conference to a later date that can be worked out with the University and partners once safety and travel concerns return to normal. While the pandemic prevented us from meeting in person this June, it did not diminish our determination to carry on with important conversations about the ongoing armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons.

The Coalition is therefore announcing the launch of Virtual Forum Series starting June 07, 2020. These virtual forums will provide space for both international actors and Southern Cameroonians to share practical solutions, comparative analysis, and concrete approaches towards peace through negotiation as well as effective frameworks for post negotiation. This web-based series adds to the hard work being undertaken by over 200 Southern Cameroonians in the Coalition’s seven Working Groups. The online platform will equally provide an opportunity for Southern Cameroonians to hear from members of the different Working Groups and ask important questions.

The first four virtual forums will focus on:

Sunday June 07, 2020, 3 PM EST

The Role of the International Community in the armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons,

Panelists: Prof. Terrence Lyons, Ambassador Herman J. Cohen (ret.), and Prof. John Mbaku

Moderator: Sandra Tombe

Sunday July 5, 2020, 3 PM EST

Human Rights and Humanitarian disasters during armed conflicts: the role of international NGOs,

Sunday July 19, 2020, 3 PM EST

Resolving Armed Conflicts for Self-Determination in Africa: Key Considerations and case comparisons and

Friday July 31, 2020, 3 PM EST

The Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiation: An Overview from the Working Groups,

The Coalition is continuously engaging with key actors within the international community and remains committed to its principles and goals. As we closely monitor the evolution of actions taken by the United States and other governments; we will continue to build momentum for the conference as well as maintain pressure for the international community and local stakeholders to engage forcefully to end the ongoing armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons.

Continued fighting in the Southern Cameroons has since 2017 reportedly resulted in more than 12,000 deaths, arbitrary arrests, and imprisonment of Southern Cameroonians. The government of the Republic of Cameroon reported the killing of at least 700 of its security forces and administrative personnel. Over 300 villages have been razed forcing the displacement of more than 900,000 and over 60,000 seeking refuge in other countries including Nigeria and the United States. An estimated one million children have been unable to attend school for the past three years, and approximately 1.9 million face severe hunger and other potential humanitarian crises. Several attempts of the government of the Republic of Cameroon to quench the armed conflict without addressing the root causes have continued to fail.

The Coalition will keep you updated with every new information pertaining to this armed conflict and the international conference. The conference website will also be updated regularly. Thank you for accepting to be part of this conference and looking forward to seeing you when we can do so safely. We are deeply sorry for the inconveniences this postponement may cause you.

Panelists for Webinar on June 07th

The Role of the International Community in the armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons

To Register click here:

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Professor John M. Mbaku

Prof. John Mukum Mbaku is a Brady Presidential Distinguished professor of economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow at Weber State University. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Prof. Mbaku has consulted with the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, African Economic Research Consortium, the African Development Bank, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa on governance issues in Africa and has appeared on several domestic and international news programs to discuss elections, corruption, and other governance-related issues in Africa.

Prof. Mbaku is a member of the Utah State Bar and the American Bar Association. An Attorney and Counselor at law, he is licensed to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Utah and the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. Mbaku is the author of Corruption in Africa: Causes, Consequences, and Cleanups (Lexington Books, 2010) and (with Mwangi S. Kimenyi) of Governing the Nile River Basin: The Search for a New Legal Regime (The Brookings Institution Press, 2015) and Protecting Minority Rights in African Countries: A Constitutional Political Economy Approach (Edward Elgar, 2018).

Ambassador Herman J. Cohen (ret.)

Ambassador Herman J. Cohen is the former United States Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs under President George H.W. Bush.  He is the President and CEO, Cohen and Woods. During his 38-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service, he served in five African countries and twice in France. He was the ambassador to Senegal, with dual accreditation to the Gambia. During assignments in Washington, he also served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Senior Director for Africa at National Security Council, principal deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and research, and principal deputy assistant secretary for personnel.

Cohen also served as a senior advisor to the World Bank Global Coalition for Africa, an intergovernmental policy forum that works to achieve consensus between donor and African governments on economic policy. During his tenure as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the first Bush Administration, and through his role at the NSC in the Reagan White House, Cohen worked to bring about peaceful transitions of power in South Africa and Namibia, and helped to end conflicts in Angola, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.

Professor Terrence Lyons

Prof. Lyons is an expert in comparative peace processes and post-conflict politics, with a regional emphasis on Africa. He is an Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University and currently serves as Director of the Doctoral Program and Co-Chair’s the Project on Contentious Politics. Prof. Lyons has consulted with the Department of State, United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and key think tanks such as the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

He has authored and edited several publications amongst them, Demilitarizing Politics: Elections on the Uncertain Road to Peace; Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa; and Somalia: State Collapse, Multilateral Intervention; Strategies for Political Reconstruction; and Conflict Management and African Politics: Negotiation, Mediation, and Politics.


Sandra Tombe

Sandra Tombe is a South Sudanese doctoral fellow at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, where she has taught undergraduate courses on conflict theory and research methods. She focuses on transnational politics. In particular, she studies political organizations and diaspora mobilization with particular focus on South Sudan and Cameroon. She has extensive knowledge on conflicts in Central and East Africa on the domestic and regional level, focusing on how identity and perceived identity affect how people engage with conflict. Sandra has published in The Journal of Modern African Studies. Sandra obtained her Master’s in French from the University of Louisville in 2016 and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and French from Berea College in 2014.

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