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Africa Alliance of YMCA Message on the Ongoing Cameroon Anglophone Crisis

The Africa Alliance of YMCAs (AAYMCA), the largest pan-African youth network established in 1977, bringing together YMCAs in 20 African countries including Cameroun by empowering young people for African Renaissance declares the following:

We stand together with the families of our brothers and sisters in Cameroon, who have lost their loved ones due to the ongoing Anglophone crisis in Ambazonia Region and wish the injured quick recovery. That long-accepted narrative says that political violence in Africa is always a tragedy and that outsiders invariably must try to reduce this violence no matter the cost in the realization of legitimate political aspirations of Africans. We as Africans are in control of our own destiny, and this is to provide an Integrated, Prosperous, People-Centered and Peaceful Africa. We cannot achieve this by turning against each other in times of tragedy. We have to change this tale.

Promoting a culture of peace and non-violence is one of AAYMCA’s core missions

We encourage the leaders of Cameroun to listen to their people, as this conflict, which bares wide the rift between Anglophones and Francophones, could destabilize the wider region. Civil unrest and clashes between government authorities and armed groups have internally displaced and caused numerous deaths among the Cameroonian people. As of late April 2018, an estimated 353,000 displaced persons were sheltering in Cameroon’s Far North Region, including more than 238,000 internally displaced persons, representing an increase of more than 10,500 people from December 2017, armed conflict was the cause of displacement for 92% of those surveyed.  People live in constant fear. The innocent people are caught in a war that has left over 200,000 displaced. The conflict in Cameroon will only get worse unless the leaders bring the people together and engage in a dialogue to bring peace. We are concerned that a seizure of power by force would plunge the country and the 23 million inhabitants into a crisis.

To the President of the Republic Mr Paul Biya, as the Head of State of Cameroon, we all are heartbroken because of the wrong direction that the Cameroon nation has taken and continues in it. We urge you to turn this ongoing conflict to peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and national healing for Cameroon. We respectfully urge you to delegate high-level law enforcement officials to meet discuss what steps the government might take to help ensure the protection and security of all the civilians of Cameroon. The government of Cameroon should protect its own citizens. The people of Cameroon have had enough blood shed and are crying out for peace. Please work on measures to bring the nation together, end the innocent killings and the continuing forced returns of refugees and asylum-seekers from Cameroon. Unity, Peace and Reconciliation should be your greatest agenda for the country of Cameroon.

The purpose of the Army is not to kill people and break things, but to serve and protect lives and property of your nation. You are obligated to work for your country and not against it. You should stand with your fellow countrymen in times of crisis and not turn against your brothers and sisters and resulting to bloodshed. You should not allow the people in power to use you to push forward their evil agendas. This beautiful country belongs to all of us, let us not tear it apart.

To our young people, you are future of our country. Do not allow yourselves to live in the past. Do not make the mistakes our leaders are making today. There is no substitute for integrity. The ability to look back on life and say ‘I did it the right way’ is a treasure. We know you can achieve greatness in your lifetime, but the only way is to become citizens in your own country and not subjects, citizens who are law abiding and willing to propel the country forward.

To the High constitutional court, your final decision defines the paths of the people of Cameroon. Be wise while making your decisions, avoid taking sides as the lives of many depend on you. The laws of a country and made for the people. Let’s stand together and make our nation proud.

If the African Union is truly committed to espousing & championing human rights across Africa it cannot afford to bury its head in respect of what Cameroon is up to at the present time.

We are highly disappointed at how the government is handling the ongoing crisis in Cameroon, we do not support the killing of innocent lives of young men, women and children. We are not seeing the willingness of the government to try to find and address the issue in a way that we will avoid a civil war.There is a pressing need for a national dialogue to harness this desire for change. This is necessary if the current crisis is to become an opportunity to develop a new road map for the future that could empower the citizens of Cameroon.

The vast majority of Cameroonians, whether Anglophone or Francophone, are hungry for change!

 

 

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