Cameroon has been under a state of war fare and just recently a group of Nobel Prize Laureates urged the government of Cameroon and the opposing rebel forces to arrive at a cease fire in order to allow health workers to tackle the coronavirus pandemic at large.
The Global Campaign for Peace and Justice in Cameroon on Monday asked the African Union, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie to urge the government of Cameroon to call for a “COVID-19 ceasefire.”
Countries that are in a state of unrest make infiltration to spread awareness impossible and so the declaration was made after the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for global ceasefire to curb new infections of the pandemic.
Seven of the group’s Nobel Prize laureates and former heads of states include 2018 laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege, former president of South Africa FW de Klerk and three former United States ambassadors to Cameroon.
The reason there Cameroon urged to cease fire is because a lot of people do not understand and know the true depth of the conflict. Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, says it might be one of the great neglected conflicts of our times.
When did the conflict begin and why?
The conflict in Cameroon began in 2016 when activists complained of marginalisation and called for independence. There after more than 3,000 people have lost their lives since clashes broke out between government forces and Anglophone separatist rebel forces. This led to a great number of people fleeing their homes and even their country in search of peace.
There have been frequent attacks through gun battles, lockdowns and the COVID-19 pandemic has made life harder for most Cameroonians especially for the English-speaking population. Cameroon has a very high number of infections from the virus standing at 12,000 and growing.
There has been a strong resistance to treatment of the virus as several cases of attacks against doctors and nurses have been reported since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Cameroon has one of Africa’s highest rates of COVID-19 infection. Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s northwest region, has been at the heart of the three-year conflict. The separatists are fighting to create a state they call Ambazonia.