The Digitization of the nation’s frontiers, the involvement of youths in problem-solving are some of the measures that have been brought forward as a solution to the various crises that Cameroon is currently facing. The crises range from the Boko Haram insurgency in the Far North, the Refugee Crisis in the East Region, and the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions.
The webinar organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation under the theme “Road map to justice and peace in Cameroon” that took recently, and was moderated by Dr William Arrey, Interim CEO of the said Foundation.
Through several public debates held in Yaounde, Douala, Dschang, Buea, Limbe, and the recent webinar held online, the Nkafu Policy Institute has engaged and discussed with Cameroonians on what they way forward for peace and justice in Cameroon should be.
Participants noted that International organizations be it the AU, or UN have failed in the handling of the present crisis in Cameroon’s North West and South West region. “The International bodies need to meet with both factions and try to agree for the conflict to come to an end,” One participant said. “The AU has failed; even to table the crisis in their sessions they have not done so.”
They went further to commend the organization of the Major National Dialogue to look for solutions but maintained that the deployment or BIRs, and others aspects have instead done more harm than good. “The present measures are not helping because of a lack of political will. All these things have instead escalated the violence in the country’s English-speaking regions,” Caroline Mveng said. “The youths should get involved in finding solutions to the present crisis The AU, Economic Community of Central African States should rise. Cameroon’s crises should be put on their agenda.”
To Ngenyuy Lovett, a participant, the Anglophone crisis has gone out of control, and what has been realized now is that most of the guys have now become independent. “I was in Kumbo and I realized that
“Solving the crisis needs to be done taken an individualistic approach. There is poverty is some of these areas and many will only die fighting than to go back to poverty. We have to note that most of these guys who are in the bushes are not illiterates, and if the war has to end, it means they will have to leave power which is something most of them have been accustomed to.”
Speaking, Gilbert Ngwaneh said the truth must be told, concerning a solution to the Anglophone crisis. According to him, the aspect of bilingualism has to be looked at; we need to reconcile with our history, and the bottom line is that the war needs to end first. We need to go back to the base,” He said.
For the Boko Haram crisis in Cameroon’s Far North Region, participants say the best way to fight the terrorist group Boko Haram is to sign another military alliance with other stakeholders; the country’s involved directly like Nigeria, Chad.
To Felico, the major cause of the crisis in the East and Northern Regions is because the government of Cameroon over the years has neglected the development of her frontier towns and villages. “The people are abandoned to themselves socially and economically. No infrastructure and no social amenities. This leaves the frontiers highly porous,” He said.
“I love looking at this situation from a home perspective. For example, how does a father calm a frustrated child? Being truthful is one way to solve the Boko Haram crisis. Despite claims by the Cameroon government to have defeated the terrorist group, it remains. When people are in crisis, they look to see that the truth is spoken about their pain. Overriding the truth gives reasons for the escalation of retaliation strategies.”
Speaking during the webinar, Ntoko Esone said the government should look into digitalizing the country’s frontiers. He added that in addition to digitalization, civic education in that part of the country should be stepped up. “That part of the country has been abandoned. It is so backward,” He said. “More inclusive education makes it difficult for Boko Haram to penetrate their ideas.”