The armed conflict in #NWSW remains one of the most neglected conflict

Sally maforchi Mboumien
Posted February 1, 2021 from Cameroon
My view

It is like we shouted happy new year just yesterday although it is a month already. Apparently calendars and the hope that comes with a new year are not meant for us leaving within an armed, traumatic and deadly conflict. I am not a pessimist but January in #NWSW has taken away hope and positivity from me and many others. We have seen blood as well as cried out our eyes.

Human life is worthless to perpetrators of violence. Our children, husbands, sisters and families have been slaughtered like chickens or goats for a traditional ritual.  The blame game from parties in conflict continues leaving the masses confused, frustrated and abandoned for daily we find soldiers shooting and killing innocent civilians like fighters too do. Who is really protecting human lives especially women, children, the elderly and people living with disability? The high level of crimes against humanity makes everyone a potential victim. Speeches and statements from leaders portray them as the people's messiah and source of hope but the daily reality is agony, fear, hunger and psychological trauma. Women and girls continue to be used as weapons of war and a source to seek attention following the dehumanizing way they are treated, video taped and circulated on social media. I will not be truthful if i fail to acknowledge the calls from different international actors for dialogue between the government of Cameroon and the non state armed groups. We as #WomenPeaceBuilders say thank you for adding your voice to our proposal of more than two years ago. The pain in my heart is the feeling many who believe in #PeaceNegotiation and #TalksNotBlood  bear. It is so disheartening because: All the calls for dialogue is yet to yield fruits that can be enjoyed by the masses At the national level government's strategies to bring peace as good as they may seem are yet to improve the situation  Non state armed groups leaders continue to use strategies like lockdown which further destroy the living conditions of the people Clashes or attacks by warring parties continue to register the dead of innocent civilians, soldiers and fighters while causing displacements  Women peace movements are yet to feel sisterly support and solidarity from women movements within the region or internationally

The issues raised above and more are known by all but it remains an unresolved puzzle why steps toward the positive direction are not being taken? Does it imply parties to conflict are resolved to wipe out the English Speaking population because of state sovereignty or independence? For how long will many continue to stay on the fence in the name of "the conflict is an internal affair"? If for the first month of 2021 we have registered about 40 or more dead what will be the situation by December? I choose to still hope that the situation can be improved upon. I envisage a time when every country, institution or individual will take concrete action to put an end to violence permanently in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon for we are all members of the human race.

This story was submitted in response to Peace for Cameroon.

Comments 15

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rebecca.tang
Feb 01
Feb 01

Thank you for letting us know the situation you are facing. I am really shock to hear this and feel your pain. I really hope this would not happen again in your country and anywhere in the world.
Stay Safe! May Almighty God bless you and your family!

We are hoping so too. Our unique wish is to see actors put an end to violence permanently in our regions. We are also aware that the solution lies in a #PeaceNegotiation among actors

Hello, sister Sally,

I feel pain, not just in my heart, but tensions in my body whenever I think about Cameroon and how long you are enduring the violence you face day after day. 40 deaths in January alone. One life is so precious; 40 is too much to bear. I'm speechless. I pray for peace in Cameroon. You deserve peace and justice. This must be a way for this violence to end. Oh, God Almighty, hear the cries of the innocent lives!

The situation is appalling but actors seem to be numbed to compassion and love. I wonder whether these sleepless nights I have from the number of dead bodies i have seen in my community is the same with opinion leaders in the ongoing conflict

jomarieb.earth
Feb 02
Feb 02

Dearest Sally,
You have the delivery of a stateswoman. So I can tell you are in charge of much, have assessed all aspects and inform all of us who know so little. It is a true dilemma everyday. I'm going to ask you to do something almost impossible but quite profound. I'm going to ask you to dare to dream. Create a simple and concise dream. Past on this dream. Make this dream penetrate and occupy the minds of the entire nation of women. Keep it simple, and concise. Then get the women to voice this dream. In every region. Every media possible. Create a secret day to all of a sudden burst this dream out no matter what in every crack of the land. That is what I dream for you. It's the dream of hope and change. Keep reaching out sister. Men cannot live without women. Women have more power than we use or know.
Hugs...JoMarie

Thank you my dear sister for this advice. We will think of that big dream and see how we can make a magic. We call on all to add their voices to the call for an end to violence permanently in the North West and South West region of Cameroon.

wanico
Feb 03
Feb 03

Dear Sally,
It's rather unfortunate that this pathetic situation in our country has crossed over to 2021 despite all peace initiatives and calls for ceasefire. The intricacies of the Anglophone crisis grow by the days and women, girls and other socially vulnerable groups continue to bear the brunt as you rightly mentioned, the political economy of armed conflicts coupled with a non existing central government due to the incapacity of President Paul Biya to address the route causes of the Anglophone crisis and use his sovereign power to call for ceasefire and inclusive dialogue are all further complicating the situation. Defence and security forces sent to the restive regions go with one intention, enrich them selves within the shortess time possible. The end of the crisis means uncompleted house and other projects to the the actors.
Anglophone "elite" on their part are benefiting from the prevailing situation and are ready to sacrifice all of us for their personal and greedy interests.
There's no known government official data on the impact of the Anglophone crisis, neither the 2018 DHS nor others specifically address the impact.
On the other hand, we women with our numerical edge which could be used as a decisive voice to shift the paradigm have gained pleasure in duplicating coalitions, owning movements as personal property and gaining notoriety for personal glorification. We walk on the corpses of ours to gain fame and fortune. unless and until we start speaking real truth to peace and the return of life to normalcy, translating words to action, the status quo is for a long time. History shall judge all of us according to our actions, words, thoughts and even omissions. Let's start walking the talk as women with one voice.

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 04
Feb 04

It is heartbreaking that this war zone continues, especially with the work that #NWSW has done to create a pathway to discussion and prioritizing peace. It is infuriating the Government of Cameroon, the UN and countries that are connected to Cameroon such as my own, for business as usual, are silent, complicit and/or not covering what is going on. Let's continue to raise our voices in support of our sisters who are living through this, and get this war stopped.
Much love,
Tam

Feb 06
Feb 06
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Kirthi Jayakumar
Feb 06
Feb 06

Dearest Sally,
Thank you for sharing your story and for telling the world about a difficult reality. Thank you for speaking about the conflict. I'm sorry you're coping with so much pain, but I hope with all my heart that the future of your country is built on healing, justice, and the strength of so many amazing women such as yourself. Stay safe, dearest.

Singularlyme
Feb 09
Feb 09

This is realy difficult, isn't it. We will continue to do our bit to bring this to the limelight maybe the international community can wade in and help

Beth Lacey
Feb 09
Feb 09

Praying for you, Sally.

Adanna
Feb 11
Feb 11

My Dear Sis,

I feel your pain and I am sad that this conflict has continued to linger on.

Indeed, the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon are all members of the human race.

Thank you for speaking out.

I like your picture:-)

Sending you lots of love,
Adanna

Fanka
Feb 11
Feb 11

Hello Sally,
It is heartbreaking as human life is being wasted everyday in#NWSW war. My heart bleeds.