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Thursday, October 4, 2018

At the UN, the crisis in English-speaking Cameroon is not the priority

The Cameroonian file was almost absent from the discussions at the UN General Assembly. A few days before the elections, the situation in northern Cameroon or even in English-speaking Cameroon was not part of the crisis on the agenda, much to the chagrin of NGOs. But on the UN side, they say they are still worried, especially by the crisis in English-speaking Cameroon, and they say they are available to work with the Cameroonian authorities to find a peaceful resolution to these crises.

At the UN forum last week, the Cameroonian Foreign Minister reported on the existence of " individuals without faith or law  " who "  thought it necessary to transform  " "  socio-economic concerns into secessionist claims  ", individuals who would aim at the disintegration of the state by committing "  terrorist acts  ".

Several Cameroonian and international NGOs had tried to mobilize the media last week, when no specific event or bilateral meeting was planned by the United Nations. "  We are very far from the policy advocated by the secretary general of conflict prevention  ," laments an activist. "  The United Nations has made it clear that they will not do anything before the elections, " he added.

"  Before the elections, it is difficult, the Cameroonian authorities are not ready to receive or hear anyone on these issues,  " confirms an African diplomat, although he says he fears the consequences in the medium and long term, including neighboring countries of Cameroon.

On the side of the UN General Secretariat, however, it is said "to  remain concerned about the situation in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon and the impact of this violence on the civilian population  ". Asked by RFI, the UN says it is willing to "  work with the Cameroonian authorities to find a peaceful resolution to this crisis  " and also calls on "  all parties to respect human rights and international humanitarian law and to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access ", particularly in the north-west and south-west of the country.

Chronology and key figures