(Business in Cameroon) - The national dialogue recently announced by Cameroonian President Paul Biya has been praised by the UN general secretary António Guterres. This was revealed by the secretary’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric in a statement published on September 10, 2019.
“The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement made today by President Paul Biya on the launch of a national dialogue process in Cameroon. He encourages the Government of Cameroon to ensure that the process is inclusive and addresses the challenges facing the country. He calls on all Cameroonian stakeholders, including the Diaspora, to participate in this effort. The Secretary-General reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to support the dialogue process,” the spokesman wrote.
The dialogue announced by Paul Biya will be articulated around themes that will answer the concerns of residents in the South-west and North-west. It will also bring answers to issues like bilingualism, cultural diversity, social harmony, reconstruction and development of regions affected by the sociopolitical crisis, the education and legal system, decentralisation and local development. Issues like the return of refugees and displaced persons, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants as well as the diaspora's role in the country’s development will be addressed.
The socio-political crisis started about three years ago in South-west and North-west Cameroon. It started as corporate demands expressed by lawyers and teachers but gradually became violent pro-independent claims with armed groups wreaking havoc, death, and grief.
21,291 Cameroonians fled to Nigeria to avoid combats between armed groups and the regular army, according to the UNHCR. International Crisis group indicates that at least 1,850 people have died during the 20 months of combat.