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Duo sings for peace in Cameroon’s conflict-ridden anglophone regions

Deutsche Welle | Two musicians are traveling through Cameroon’s English speaking regions in the hope that their musical messages of peace will reach rebels and help end the secessionist conflict. DW’s Moki Kindzeka reports.

Law graduate turned musician Linford Ci tunes his guitar as he gets ready for a performance in the small town of Santa in Cameroon’s Northwest Region.

The 31-year-old traveled to the rural town together with Emmanuel Bilashi to preach a message of peace.

“We are tired of war, violence. We need a bright future,” says Bilashi.

“If anything is wrong in the house, you yourself, you must contribute. … That is what motivated us to bring our music to our fellow brothers, our fellow sisters. Let them drop their weapons – violence is not what we need but peace and love.”

The two musicians founded their duo four months ago when both lost family members and friends in the secessionist struggle in Cameroon’s English speaking regions. Several hundred civilians have been killed in the conflict, hundreds of thousands are internally displaced and thousands have fled to neighboring Nigeria.

Armed just with their voices and a guitar, the duo’s melodic acoustic songs in both English and French talk of the consequences of war and call for the fighters to put down their arms.

The lyrics of one French song entitled Mon Pays (My Country) implore: “You don’t need weapons, you don’t need war. Because of the war, I am alone. Because of the war, I have lost my family. Because of the war, the schools are closed.”

The lyrics continue to ask both the government of Cameroon and the armed gangs to grant children their basic right to education.

“We are tired of war, violence. Schools are locked up, our brothers and sisters are being killed every day and things are not moving…. Let them drop the weapons. Violence is not what we need but peace and love,” Bilashi says.

Both Bilashi and Ci believe their music can reach those young men who join the armed gangs.

“We might think that they are not listening. We might think that they are tired. We might think that they have given up but seriously, they are having consciences and they are still having that soft spot in their heart for the love of the nation,” Ci told DW.

The two musicians have performed in several villages throughout the region, such as Nkwen, Sabga, Mbengwi and Bambui, even though armed gangs regularly attack the area.

“Everything is all about the love you have for your nation,” Bilashi says.

“There are people who died for the nation. If that is the case for some one to lose his life for many to be saved, then so be it.”

One of those who have listened to the peace crusaders is 27-year-old Nina Kima. She believes music can work magic.

“We say music kisses the heart. [The fighters] are human beings. They have hearts also. They can listen to the song and even dance. It is like a call of the heart because singing is coming from the heart. We have seen it in other countries and it has brought in a lot of stability, a lot of peace.”

Bernard Okalia Bilai, governor of the English speaking Southwest Region also appreciates the duo’s efforts. He says the government of Cameroon has asked his administration to give amnesty to those who surrender.

“We need to rescue them. We have some young men there who have been involved by force. Those misguided children should come back,” Bilai told DW.

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17 comments

  1. They can sing the peace message to Bimvondo who has sent his military to kill people. Music is not what people need for now. This music thing will not work. wrong energy.

    • @David Ngwa
      Only an idiot can say this. Do you have a solution? It simply display your degree of ignorance.
      I am sure you are either not negatively affected or you have twisted your senses. Moron

  2. #the secessionist conflict. DW’s Moki Kindzeka reports.
    Moki Kindzeka is a good reporter for the enemy. Moki Kindzeka we are reading your CRTV balance reporting

  3. SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

    Agents sponsored by the so-called Commission on Disarmament asking Amba boys to drop weapons.

    Amba boys will NEVER EVER drop weapons until the Anglophone Question is COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, IRREVERSIBLY and UNCONDITIONALLY resolved

    • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

      The US is the most powerful nation on planet earth. The US possesses nuclear weapons.
      The same US has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001.

      However, the US has NEVER EVER asked the Taliban to drop weapons. Why????

      The answer is simple: The US knows that the Taliban will never ever drop weapons until the root cause that made them take up weapons is resolved.

      Dictator Biya is a dreamer. He has failed “pants on fire” to defeat Amba boys on the battlefield. Now he is asking Amba boys to drop weapons without resolving the root cause of the problem.

      Amba boys have proven to all and sundry that the Anglophone Question can never be resolved by presidential decrees. Any person asking Amba boys to drop weapons is a dreamer. He is surely ignorant of history.

      • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

        The so-called “one and indivisible”LRC is a failed state held hostage by a BULU crime syndicate.

        Like it or not, there will be:

        1. ZERO CAN19
        2. ZERO laying down of weapons by Amba boys

        Dictator Biya and his apologists should be ashamed of themselves and their sh*thole country. They can go to hell for all I care.

        The so-called disarmament commission is another scam. Its mission is not different from that of the humanitarian “Plan d’urgence” i.e. to use the Anglophone struggle as a smokescreen to raise badly needed cash.

      • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

        AMBA BOYS ARE EXTREMELY ANGRY, FIRED AND VERY WOUNDED INDEED.

        HOW CAN DICTATOR BIYA EVER DREAM OF DISARMING THESE RAW, WILD AND UNTAMED FIGHTERS BY PRESIDENTIAL DECREES???

        OF COURSE, DICTATOR BIYA IS SIMPLY PLAYING TO THE GALLERY. HE KNOWS THAT AMBA BOYS CAN AND WILL NEVER DISARM. NEVER EVER !!!!

        NO DICTATOR HAS EVER SUCCEEDED TO DISARM ASYMMETRICAL WARRIORS BY PRESIDENTIAL DECREES.

        THE CREATION OF THE SO-CALLED DISARMAMENT COMMISSION IS CRYSTAL CLEAR PROOF THAT DICTATOR BIYA HAS RUN OUT OF OPTIONS.

    • What a dream? Why not say ” I will not drop my weapon”?
      Sending innocent children and making useless comments in social media.

  4. This group is sent by Atanga nji and Fai Yengo. We are waiting to welcome them. Tell them

  5. Good message.

    BUT why not carry it to the military barracks as well????????? Placing fresh bandages on festering wounds without surgical debridement (removing the infected rotten flesh) is not the best way to facilitate wound healing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. EMBA BOYS WANT TO FINISH THE POPULATION THEY WILL GOVERN TOMORROW , BEFORE THEY PUT DOWN ARMS. THIS IS A VERY PATHETIC SITUATION.
    WHEN THE WAR IS WON , NO POPULATION TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT, THEN CAMEROON WILL BE FINALLY BE ONE. I WILL THEN MOVE IN AND CHOOSE A NICE PIECE OF LAND FOR MYSELF.
    ******PLEASE DO NOT STOP UNTILL ALL YOUR POPULATION ARE FINISH **** PLEASE I BEG…

    • You are a typical CameroUnese. That’s the plan LRC soldiers have in mind. Bad news for you and your CameroUnese brethren Ambazonia is free. You see the problems in your mother country France, it will soon spread to French farms in Africa

      • The N.W province will form their own country called Ambazonia, We will then create a 9 state federation from the remaining 9 provinces with elected governors.

  7. The message should be clear to these idiots. Go to Yaoundé and ask your government to stop the slaughtering of it citizens and bring peace and normalcy to the regions. The “yellow vest” in France is over now and the government in that country has conceded to the peoples.

  8. The duo, are going around exibiting the stupidity they have been fed with from
    birth ie, embrass poverty, no roads, poor school structures etc etc, don`t even
    complain, good things are for the `big people`.
    If they were singing like the so called terrorist who want good roads, schools,
    clean portable water etc etc, they would have been killed by now or sooner.
    That might be the purpose of the above writeup.

  9. Ambazonian brain is challenged to get the international view changed from apathy and skepticism to active involvement. To do this there is need for a new, more refined language, clear strategy that brings out the limitation of considering the crisis as an internal matter and tossing it back to His Excellency M Mr. Paul Biya.
    It is not rocket science to see that 99% of the time, Ambazonians are talking to each other, fighting each other. Question: Was the original problem an internal Ambazonian problem? Why the change??????????