A one day workshop aimed at reflecting on promoting a culture of peace has ended in Bamenda with Fons selected randomly from villages across the North West Region committing themselves “to privilege mutual dialogue and mediation in the resolution of conflicts and to be fair and impartial” in their efforts to negotiate peace. 

Organised by the Community Initiative for Sustainable Development COMINSUD, the one day reflection platform according to the Director of the institution is a result of “a rapid assessment” in February of 2015 which revealed that “over 40 communities” have experienced violent conflicts in the NWR.
“Some recent violent escalations are the conflicts between Balikumbat-Bafanji, Oku-Mbessa, Bali-Bawock, and Baligham-Awing. These conflicts left tens of people killed; hundreds of homes and businesses burnt down; farms crops and livestock destroyed; infrastructure of public interest such as water supply systems damaged amongst others.” Fon Nsoh says adding that “bases on the conflicts witnesses in the past quarter of the century, working for the lasting peace is very imperative to avoid certain dehumanizing situations that results from violent conflicts.”
In a bid to search for ways to handle post violent conflict outcomes according to the Director; COMINSUD decided to build efforts with a German Government programme Civil Peace Service CPS an initiative that promotes a culture of peace on the line of conflict prevention, transformation and management.
At the close of intense In-camera deliberations on issues bearing on the concept of peace, conflict violence, actors, roles and procedures, the eleven Fons who participated in the workshop made public their resolutions amongst which include their resolve to promote the culture of peace amongst the populations they lead via organization of intergenerational dialogue. The Fons also made clear their resolve to “commit to do all within the framework of our authority to resolve conflicts in a pacific and non-violent manner” with the administration and competent courts as the last option.
While requesting for more reflection platforms for Fons to share and learn on promoting a culture of peace, the traditional authorities also called “on the state to respond promptly to complaints from Fons and view Fons not just as local auxiliary of the administration but to legally incorporate traditional authorities as the first step in the in the administrative ladder.
Citing the crisis between his village and Ajong in Boyo Division, the Fon of Akeh Y. Mbah III Solomon observed that if he had the knowledge acquired from the workshop before, the crisis would have long been laid to rest.
A similar remark from the Fon of Oku Sintieh II Ngum Martin insinuated that the long crisis that turned terrible violent between his village and the people of Mbessa is a now a thing of the past.
COMINSUD hopes to reach a level where “communities in the NWR live in harmony, using situations of conflicts as opportunities understand to their challenge as well as manage them in a pacific manner using the most appropriate approach.
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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