Cameroon: North West, South West Crisis - Women Ready to Contribute to Peace Initiatives

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Tibor Nagy and President Paul Biya of Cameroon

A delegation of the North West, South West Women Task Force had talks with the Coordinator of the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Committee.

Worried about the raging socio-political situation in the North West and South West Regions with disastrous consequences, women in the two regions have constituted themselves into a task force with the sole aim of working for the return to calm, security and peace. In their ongoing mission of meeting State authorities and Cameroon's partners to propose their contribution and collaboration in all initiatives aimed at bringing back peace to the two regions, a delegation of the North West, South West Women's Task Force on March 15, 2019, had talks with Fai Yengo Francis who is the National Coordinator of the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Committee . One of the main missions of the committee is to target separatist fighters who drop their arms and come back to society.

Talking to the press after the over three hours meeting, the General Coordinator of the Women's Task Force, Esther Omam said they are women leaders who are committed to see an end to the crisis. "We have seen many of our loved ones die, children and sisters dying, so much blood flowing in the communities. We as women, brokers of peace and agents of development thought it is important that we start doing lobbying and advocacy at all levels, meeting with key stakeholders, trying to chart the way forward, find out what the problems are and how we can mitigate some of the problems." Before coming to the NDDRC, the women had read the document on the missions of the institution and had some concerns to raise.

"This is because we want all the parties to come together as one and see what can be done for us to enjoy the lost peace we so much enjoyed in our communities in the past. We have given our observations about what we think about the document and after listening we have gotten clarifications," Esther Omam said. After the meeting, "We will go back to our group, meet the members, give them the report of the meeting, analyse and see what needs to be done." As some of the proposals, the task force calls for face to face talks and dialogue.

"We believe in listening, dialogue, talking and acting," she added. One of the de legation members, the Task Force Focal Point in Yaounde, Nicoline Wazeh said, they proposed to Fai Yengo Francis that the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and the Family be included as one of the key ministries in putting in place the actions of the NDDRC.

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