(Buea-Cameroon) Students in the Department of English Law, Faculty of Laws and Political Science at the University of Buea, UB, have been tutored on the importance of conflict prevention and non-violence.
The exercise took place on November 22, during a symposium and debate organised by postgraduate students of the English Law Department, at UB Amphi 750, that brought together legal minds, communication, conflict and peace experts within and without the faculty.
Among the topics were: Radicalisation and Extremism, Role of youths in Peacebuilding, Peacemaking and Humanitarian actions in Cameroon, and the role played by the media in conflict management: the case of an Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon and the South Sudan Crisis.
Dwelling on the topic; Human Rights and Sustainable Development in Cameroon, the Dean of the Faculty of Laws and Political Science, Prof. Atangcho N. Akonumbo said: “There can be no development without the respect for human life. If your rights are not protected, if you cannot express yourself politically, then, there is a problem.”
He added that: “Without Human Rights, there can be no Sustainable Development, and without Sustainable Development, there can be no Development of Human Rights”
The symposium and debate was centred on the theme, “Conflict prevention and non-violence in Cameroon.”
The Head of Department, HOD, of English Law, Prof. Patience Sone Munge, congratulated the postgraduate students for their spirit of commitment in organising the event.
The Dean of the Precursor Faculty said, more of such conferences will be coming in every semester. He equally said it was an opportunity for them to dwell on certain issues which are not taken care of in the curricula.
“It is true we have the Department of International Relations and Conflict Resolution, but we are looking at it from a different practical perspective,” Prof Atangcho said.
“It gives the students the opportunity to address other issues, to see other issues which are not classical and from a different perspective. Such an academic gathering is very useful to our students,” he explained.
The President of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, Barrister Agbor Balla Nkongho, one of the Guest speakers, said such conferences are very necessary.
Hammering on challenges of institutions in the protection of human rights during a conflict situation, Barrister Nkongho decried the lack of political will in Cameroon, government intervention in the judiciary and unwillingness from both parties in the war to allow organisations do their humanitarian and documentary work.
To Barrister Ngenje, independence is not a panacea for peace. He cautioned the youths to drop that mentality that, if you are not in support of their ideology, then you are against them.
“We should exercise moderation at all time and stop attacking people as enablers,” he said.
The students, at the close of the session, debated on Cameroon customary law as a colonial invention and also the differences in Common and Civil Law; whether it warrants Common Law lawyers to decry adulteration.