North-West, South-West: Still Yearning For Peace, Reconstruction

The Major National Dialogue took place on September 30, October 4, 2019 and some of the recommendations still face great challenges to be implemented.

T he Head of State, President Paul Biya in his address to the nation on September 10, 2019 convening the Major National Dialogue stated among other issues that, it was “…to enable us seek ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions but also of all the other components of the nation.” Three years after the holding of the Major National Dialogue, some challenges remain to be significantly surmounted. One of the challenges is the substantial return to peace, security and normalcy in the socio-political stricken North-West, South-West and Far North Regions. It is true that the situation is no longer as tense as it was in 2019 where life almost came to a standstill in the two English-speaking regions. Clashes by then reached the peak between the defence and security forces on the one hand and armed separatists on the other hand. The armed groups now, though to a lesser extent still continue to maim, behead, assassinate elements of the defence and security forces and the civilian population, carry out destruction of public and private property with the recent case being the burning down of the Catholic Church in Nchang Village in Manyu Division. They have also continued to hamper children from going to school mostly in rural areas, molest local populations and intermittently restrict the free movement of people and their property in some areas. The uncertainty caused by the armed separatists has also rendered the implementation of the recommendation on the return of refugees and internally displaced persons not sufficiently effective. People still afraid for their lives to return to their villages of birth where they fear to be kidnapped, molested and even killed by the armed groups. Government in view of implementing the recommendation for the reconstruction and development of conflict-affected areas which are the NorthWest, South-West and Far North Regions has created reconstruction institutions. For the North West and South West, the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development for the North West and South West Regions with Minister P...



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