By Njodzeka Danhatu
Women Coalition for Peace and Development, has called on organisers of AACIII, to get more women involved in the peace initiative.
On the need for peace talks, they declared that “Both Parties (Government and Amba Fighters) need to keep their egos aside and come for a fruitful negotiation.”
This plea was made on Sunday, November 25, in a press conference organised by Women Coalition for Peace and Development at the Pan African Institute for Development-West Africa, PAID-WA in Buea.
The aim of the meeting, according to this Young Women-Led CSO/NGO for Peace and Mediation, was to decry the kidnapping of children and teachers in the two Anglophone Regions as a result of the ongoing crisis.
The crisis, they said, can come to an end if both parties are on the dialogue table, Feka Parchilbell Nadum, founder of Hope for Vulnerable and Orphans, one of the members said: “Solutions can only come if those in the diaspora and the Government can come as one. Individual meetings cannot take us anywhere, it will instead kill us. There is a lot of score-settling going on in this crisis.”
To the young women, children and teachers need a safer ground to study.
“It is important to know that education is key to solving our community problems. On the fact, we have not had school going on for some years now, we have had children become pregnant at very young ages. We have had children become delinquent, children not being able to say the simple A B C or count 1 2 3, are some of the challenges,” Emilia, Founder/CEO of Denis Miki Foundation and Efiti Ventures lamented.
She added that, no grievances or national history justifies the kidnapping, harming and torture of children, and that the abduction of children during conflict is one of the six gross violations identified and condemned by the UN Security Council.
As young women, they said, they are encouraging youths to stand against it, stating that women have suffered a lot.
“We are being raped as young women. Women have to sell themselves to survive,” they added.
As mobile internally displaced persons, IDPs, they are advocating for peace like others, and call on Government to demilitarise the two zones.
“It’s Government responsibility to demilitarise; guns will not solve the problem we have.”
Some of them, who have been to the field for humanitarian assistance, said the situation is very traumatising as they have seen the suffering women and children in the bushes are going through.
Making their voices with hopes that someone will hear and react, they are strategising on how to give the military proper training on hate speech.
“The military, on their part, are frustrated. Some of them act on frustration but, at the end, who suffers? The president is silent and it’s so annoying. Let love and peace reign, we are not only women but mothers too,” they explained.
To them, peace from any side is welcome and that is why they are working both with Government and the diaspora to ensure that there is safety for children and teachers who have become the targets.
Reacting to the All Anglophone Conference that is yet to take place, they said massive participation can make it a huge success.
“The conference needs to be taken to a broader level, get many people involved. With those in jail, traditional rulers, or target everybody, it is going to be a success. Get more women involved. They feel the pinch. Women are willing to come.”