Home / English / INTERVIEW – Act now or face disaster in Cameroon, aid chief warns

INTERVIEW – Act now or face disaster in Cameroon, aid chief warns

Thomson Reuters Foundation | London, April 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A separatist conflict in Cameroon that has forced half a million people from their homes is in danger of worsening, the head of a major aid agency has warned, condemning what he called the “international silence” over the crisis.

Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), said the world had underestimated the impact on civilians of the violence that has gripped Cameroon, where entire villages had been burned to the ground.

“I’ve been all over the world, dealing with humanitarian work for many years and I was really shocked by the unbelievable extent of this emergency that is underestimated, underreported and neglected by the international community,” said Egeland.

“There are atrocities every single day against civilians … and the world doesn’t seem to know or want to know about it,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone during a visit to Cameroon.

Long-running tensions in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon erupted into conflict in late 2016, prompting crackdowns by security forces and leaving 1.3 million people in need of aid, according to the United Nations.

Egeland said the violence had pushed tens of thousands into hiding in the bush without access to food or medical help, and meant nearly a million children could no longer go to school.

But he said there was a danger the situation could worsen.

“I really, really hope there will be mediation efforts, that there will be an outreach and an interest in dialog on both sides that will lead to talks which can end this before it is too late,” he said on Thursday.x

“I’ve seen too many places which started with a smaller conflict … and ended up in a war that no one could stop.”

Cameroon’s English speakers have felt increasingly marginalized by the French-speaking government in the capital Yaounde and in 2017 thousands took to the streets to demand a breakaway state.

The military stepped in and thousands of Anglophones fled the ensuing crackdown, which Cameroon authorities described as an anti-terrorist operation.

In a statement Egeland, whose organization is distributing survival kits to victims including food, tools and materials for temporary shelters, said there had been little pressure on the parties to stop attacking civilians.

“The international silence surrounding atrocities is as shocking as the untold stories are heart-breaking,” he said.

A U.N. human rights committee in February criticized the “heavy-handed approach” of the security forces to the crisis, which saw medical facilities, schools and entire villages destroyed.

Allegra Baiocchi, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator in Cameroon, said the violence was hampering relief efforts, and also blamed a lack of funding from other countries.

“The violence has been characterized by massive human rights violations. Attacks against schools and health providers have reached an alarming scale,” she said.

“Negotiating safe humanitarian access is extremely complicated and it is slowing us down.” (Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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  1. At some point if the LRC terrorists will not stop killing Ambazonians, we will have no choice but to start going into offices in Ambazonia where LRC citizens work and taking them down.

    • The Bamilekes are cowards–go back to your dirty muddy stinking villages, NOW.

    • Amour Mezam MUST be destroyed–burn their buses.

    • No more Dschang quarters in Kumba.

    • ALL Bassas in Tiko go back to LRC.

    • All LRC students and lecturers in Bamenda and Buea Universities must go. They must not be allowed to stay in our neighborhoods.

    • If there are any LRC citizens in your neighborhood, inform Amba boys and they will take care of the bastards.

    • Start killing LRC citizens in Ambazonia, immediately. PLEASE. Do it NOW.

    • We are at war.

    Please, spread this message around.

  2. The sad truth, is that though many names are read over crtv to have passed the GCE exams,
    not everyone, tops the chards – a,b, and c grades. But those who manage a pass and are
    promoted, have the chance to also carry their shoulders high up. And the difference, always
    shows. Right minded people, quickly see and know how poorly Biya has managed the country
    and how wicked and inhuman, his time in office has come to be. Let them argue to their teeth,
    but Biya will pay for his sins woefully. He is no different.

  3. Sad!
    Thanks to a whiteman for raising the alarm that a Blackman hypercentralized Francophone government in Yaoundé working in collaboration with France made a conscious decision to kill Anglophone in Cameroon.
    Federal whiteman Canada has 7.2M Francophones living in peace
    8M Anglophones in Cameroon are being massacred only for being Anglophones by their own government Why?
    Today the government’s war on Anglophones has resulted in;
    20,00 killed
    550,000 refugees in Cameroon
    120,00 refugees in Nigeria
    300 villages burnt
    130,000 children no school
    10,000 jailed in French Cameroon
    A whiteman again has to beg the world to help protect black women and children from being massacred by their own Blackman government. Why?
    Who is fooling who?
    Very low IQ

    • Kumkum Pass Garri

      Delusional Terrorist LUM/ MVOMEKA/ ZERO VIVE!

      Shame on You!!!
      You are yet to develop into a human being!

      Are there only 130,000 school aged children in the North West and South West of Cameroon?

      How can a population of 8 million only have 130,000 school aged children. LUM is fooling her self!The children are not in school because you (LUM) personally abolished education in the NW & SW provinces of Cameroon. You (LUM) and your terrorist friend have been terrorizing youth not to go to school. You amputate the arms of young girls who want to go to school! You deceived children that UNESCO will cancel the GCE so that they should not go to school! You burn down schools!

      LUM the world is not as dumb a ambazombies! Your delusion will never become a reality! Shameless terrorist!

  4. @bobjazz ”When we started our march against the Biya regime’s marginalization, we never invited you guys to assist with your foolishness of kidnapping, demanding ransom, preventing our kids from going to school and beheading people.”.ha ha ha ha..Of course u invited us.I remember before Agbor Balla was arrested,he handed the relay baton to Mark Bareta and Tapang Ivo,to stir the consortium from abroad.
    When Tasang Wilfred went on exile,Tapang Ivo and Mark Bareta handed power to Tasang Wilfred,after some months, Tasang came on air and announced that the consortium have changed their vision and are now fighting for the restoration of the state of SC.From there,Southern Cameroon Consortium United Front (SCACUF) was created with Sisiku as chairman.Of course u invited us. wata na wata…

  5. Something is really wrong with these Negros!
    Come and read them here!
    You will start to understand why slavery, colonisation took place so easly…
    Is beeing black, specially Black African a curse?
    While other races are bussy putting strategies to concer the world, black Africans are busy planning how they can destroy each other!

  6. @bobjazz ”We wanted to achieve our goals in a civilized manner just as the Burkinabes and the Algerians did to free themselves”.Algerians did not send France out of their country in a civilized manner. If u have done history,then u will know that Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) of Algeria did not use ”civilise”way to send France out of their country.The truth is rebellous.Just like FLN, Southern Cameroon Liberation Council (SCLC) will not use civilised way to send the French surrogates,LRC out of SC.As for Burkina faso,whether Blaise Compaore is there or not,they still remain french slaves.Are u not ashamed that 60 years after ”independence”,your governor is instructing our chiefs to come and march on 20th may with placards?Lets see how those chiefs will come and match…anuofia

  7. @Bikutsi ”You will start to understand why slavery, colonisation took place so easly
    Is beeing black, specially Black African a curse?”.Ha ha ha ha…See who is talking about colonialism.When an ENAM graduate from LRC ask our most highly respected chiefs to come and march on 20th may,else they won’t receive their ”salaries” and would be dethrone.Are those ”salaries” of 50.000frs not a way of buying their conciences so that they can sell their land and their people to you guys, for u to continue exploiting their resources and continue your policy of francophonisation? is that not colonisation? do you think that colonisation is restricted to white man-black man colonisation? We are not francophones,if u want to francophonise us by force,it is colonialism,and a crime against humanity.

  8. At some point if the LRC terrorists will not stop killing Ambazonians, we will have no choice but to start going into offices in Ambazonia where LRC citizens work and taking them down.

    • The Bamilekes are cowards–go back to your dirty, muddy, stinking villages, NOW.

    • Amour Mezam buses must be burnt down. Mr. Amour Mezam go back to Bafang or wherever you
    came from in Bamilekeland. Fokou do same.

    • No more Dschang quarters in Kumba.

    • ALL Bassas in Tiko go back to LRC.

    • All LRC students and lecturers in Bamenda and Buea Universities must go. They must not be allowed to
    stay in our neighborhoods.

    • If there are any LRC citizens in your neighborhood, inform Amba boys and they will take care of the

    • We are at war. Kill the FROGS.

  9. @Limbe Kid ”This is what happens when people cannot see beyond their nostrils. Who made you a gate-keeper of anglophone identity?

    FYI a mandate is not limited to elections. Do you have a passport, driver`s licence,ID? Do you use currency? Until further notice, Biya has the tacit endorsement of the populace and until your hypothetical state can formulate alternative arrangements, everything else is chaos.”….Ha ha ha ha…Biya imposed the state of LRC to us in 1984.He imposed LRC passports,ID and Driver’s License on us.Of course he does not have the endorsement of the populace.Thats why the populace came out massively and marched on the 22nd of september 2017 with blue and white flag,not Green Red Yellow flag..Thats why everything is ending now in chaos..wata na wata..

  10. Guys, you got to be smarter and learn from what happened in Libya, Iraq, etc. I learned from a stakeholder a few years back that all 10 regions of Cameroon have abundant natural resources and they haven’t yet started exploiting because, right now, they are doing so in neighboring countries. A few weeks ago H.E. Victor Mukete echoed the same news in the parliament, which just served to confirm the fact. I challenge all those fanning the conflict in the North and South West to dig into black history. Watch Kalala Omotunde, specialist in classic humanities’ interventions, on various platforms. We might not be able to stop them from stealing from the continent, but we won’t play the fools to be on one another’s throat this time around, while they extort our natural resource. NO TO VIOLENCE

  11. Brexit is going gradually, without gun shots or blood flowing.

  12. Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and Biya! God help us all

  13. Ambaman I suspect you are a.larepublican trying to discredit our revolution.
    No to wanton killings. Yes to self defence. Long live Amba

  14. Kumkum Pass Garri

    US Embassy Press Release

    [The U.S. Embassy deplores the torture, dismemberment, and beheading of a gendarme in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. We also condemn the reported beheading of a Cameroonian soldier in Bamenda, Northwest Region. We extend our condolences to their families.

    We call on anyone with information that could help to identify the perpetrators of these acts to assist lawful authorities and to support a fair and transparent investigation and trial. We urge restraint by police and security forces. Retaliation against these provocations would endanger the civil populace, and will only feed a cycle of violence. ….. ]

  15. The problems faced in Cameroon by the anglophones /Abazonians was caused by themselves. When things were going wrong ,some few anglophones who were able to benefit from the system were very hppy and thought they were chosen by GOd. They even as far as insulting other anglophones who were not priviledged.some even tried to change their names and refuse to speak english in their own offices. Ambazonians being very selfish from Foncha who was misled by ahidjo to believe he will be next president and later on used Muna with same tactics and today this is were we find our selves. You can see clearly what the extremely greedy abozanian leaders are doing abroad. All they do and think of is personal achievement. Southern Cameroonians should change if they wish to have a better homeland.

  16. Foncha was thinking only about the presidency and not the people of southern cameroon, same as muna and his predecesures. The solution to the anglophone problem is…All anglophones should stop being ondividualistic when it comes to bargaining with their francophones counterparts. Okalai insulted the South west chiefs bc he knows they are not united and can do everything from an individual stand point to overpower each other. You are always the cause of your own problems.

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