Survey Reveals Youth Frustration: 70% Feel Ignored, Majorities Say Voices Unheard in Anglophone Crisis Resolution

A recent survey conducted by the Reconciliation and Development Association (RADA) has highlighted the political roots of the ongoing armed conflict in the English speaking North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, with a significant majority of youths indicating that their voices are not being heard in peace efforts. The survey results were unveiled during an event on June 14, 2024, in Bamenda, marking the culmination of an eight-month training program for young peace advocates.
The survey, carried out as part of RADA's Youth Engagement in Community Peace Initiative (YECPI), revealed that a majority of the surveyed youths believe political factors are at the heart of the crisis that has affected these regions since 2016. According to Dr. Courage Sevidzem, who presented the survey results, "70% of the youths surveyed said their voices are not being heard when it comes to the role that they should play in the resolution of this conflict."
Dr Courage Sevidzem presenting survey results 

This sentiment underscores a critical gap in the current peace efforts, suggesting that young people feel marginalized and unheard.

 "That tells us that the solution lies within the okpolitical ranks," said Mbidzenyuy Ferdinand Sonyuy, President of RADA. He stressed the importance of youth involvement in peacebuilding, stating, "Youths are very important in society. If you ignore the opinion of the youths, you are ignoring the future."

In addition to identifying political roots, the survey also highlighted several recommendations from the youths for resolving the conflict. Key suggestions included stopping military actions and prioritizing honest and sincere dialogue.
Mbidzenyuy Ferdinand, RADA 

The event, attended by representatives from the North West Regional Assembly and the Public Independent Conciliator, also celebrated the graduation of fifty young peace advocates trained through the YECPI program. This initiative focused on equipping youths with skills in conflict resolution, advocacy, and effective communication.

"For this particular initiative, we had the opportunity to train 50 youths on community peace building specifically on conflict resolution, advocacy, and effective communication," Mbidzenyuy explained. 

"We expect these youths to be positive contributors and advocates for an end to the Anglophone crisis—the real problem that we want to solve." He added 
Wapyem Gravelen, a representative of the trainees, shared the following experience

"During my stay in the training, I acquired the skills of advocacy to create positive change. I have noticed that in our communities, we see different things happening but we don't know the proper way of mitigating them. We were taught how to advocate for positive change and things that can help."

Gravelen added, "We were also taught conflict resolution and mediation, taking into context that we are in a conflict situation in our region."

The event concluded with the presentation of attestations to the fifty young peace advocates, who were encouraged to use their new skills to contribute positively to conflict resolution efforts in their communities.

RADA, a non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting community development, hopes that these newly trained advocates will play a pivotal role in fostering lasting peace in the troubled regions of Cameroon.

By Bakah Derick 
Tel: 6 94 71 85 77 

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