South African Archbishop Stephen Brislin calls on conflicting parties in Cameroon to adhere to UNSC Resolution 2532
The Covid19 pandemic has by now affected every country in the world. Lockdown regulations implemented in most countries to slow the spread of the virus have impacted particularly severely on the poor, depriving them of their livelihoods and plunging them even deeper into abject poverty. As of 9 July 2020, Cameroon had recorded almost 15,000 confirmed cases (www.covid19info.live). This appears to be a relatively low number. However, it can be safely assumed that the true numbers are under reported, due to a lack of testing equipment, and inadequate medical facilities.
On 1 July 2020, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2532, calling on all countries in a conflict situation to observe a 90 – day cease fire, to slow down the spread of the virus and to facilitate initiatives to combat the pandemic. The Resolution:
- Demands a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda and supports the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General and his Special Representatives and Special Envoys in that respect;
- Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days, in order to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance, provisions of related services by impartial humanitarian actors, in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and medical evacuations, in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law and refugee law as applicable.
The adoption of Resolution 2532 has had little impact on the conflict in Cameroon. Since its adoption, there have been numerous attacks, including:
1.1 July 2020: Arson attacks by the military in Banbaki-Tungo, Mezam division in which some houses were burnt.
2.4 July 2020: Arson attacks in Ngusi, in K. Muan Division.
3.7 July 2020, Military invaded Bakut, in Eyumojck, and killed 2 men and arrested many youths.
4.8 July 2020: Clashes at Kikaikelaki, and invasion of Kikoo and Saakir villages.
As a Roman Catholic organization that promotes peace, justice and sustainable development in Africa, the Denis Hurley Peace Institute calls on the Cameroon government and the Anglophone Cameroon leaders to respect the call of the United Nations Security Council, to adhere to Resolution 2532, and to work out an agreement for a ceasefire that can lead to genuine negotiations.
We are pleased to note that on 2 July 2020, Cameroon government representatives started pretalks with representatives of Anglophone Cameroon, led by Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius. This will hopefully create an enabling environment for confidence building and a ceasefire agreement from both parties. We appeal to the Cameroon government and Anglophone Cameroonian leaders not to lose this momentum, but to adhere to Resolution 2532, and to use the ceasefire firstly to build the capacity to protect the health of all citizens of Cameroon in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic, and secondly to use the momentum to engage in peace negotiations that would result in a lasting peace agreement that expresses the will of the people of Anglophone Cameroon.
Archbishop Stephen Brislin
Liaison Bishop: Denis Hurley Peace Institute