By Tchiendi Lydie
The deputy high commissioner to the British high commission Nigel Holmes, together with the second Secretary of political affairs and planning, Sam Noble and Cleatine Asongwe, political affairs officer at the British High Commission in Yaoundé ended a four-day working visit in the North West and West Regions on Friday, August 12, 2022.
The visit, which started on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 in the North West Region with the aim of having consultative talks with religious, political, traditional leaders and civil society organisations in a bid to evaluate the humanitarian situation in the regions and to seek for ways to alleviate suffering of the populations and to support development and peace building was a forum for frank discussions with the British officials.
According to Nigel Holmes, he said they are aware of the work local and international organisations are doing to bring help to the crisis hit persons of the region and have gone down to the field to hear from key stakeholders what is feasible in terms of development in the region.
Speaking to the CEO of Community Solutions Media, investigative journalist and development communication consultant Sah Terence Animbom who was one of the participants in the talks between five CSOs and the British officials, he says; ” It was a great opportunity for me to be part of this consultative talks and be able to talk to the deputy British high commissioner in relation to the armed conflict in the North West region of Cameroon. Given that the anglophone crisis is still ongoing, it is important that actions being taken now be bound towards a genuine dialogue to reach the end of this impasse. When I spoke to the deputy high commissioner, I sort to know the role of the British government in looking for an end to this crisis” Sah Terence says.
He also went forth to say “instead of the government and UN agencies as well as the UK to be spending a lot of money on reconstruction which i think is not very feasible due to the present crisis, government and UN agencies should rather bring together all the fractions and stake holders for a genuine dialogue with all the parties involved for immediate solutions. Reconstruction, development and peace are all very good and I personally welcome them. However, peace and a definite resolution of this crisis is much more welcome. So government and partners should stop putting the cart before the horse” He ended.
Common talk during this consultative meeting had emphasis laid on genuine dialogue as a way out of the current North West and South West socio political crisis.
The British offer had a total of fifteen meeting with stakeholders in the North West and West regions from Tuesday August 9, to Thursday August 10, 2022. Among the meetings held were talks with the secretary general at the North West governor’s office, the fon of mankon, Archbishop Nkea, the Regional Assembly, Human Rights commission, CSOs, CHEVENING Alumni, UN agencies, the mayor of Foumban, Sultan of Bamoun, the Regional assembly of the West Region and the UK war graves at Up Station Bamenda.
The UK seeks to reduce suffering in Cameroon by engaging political dialogue and broad-based consultations to identify the exact needs of the population through community stakeholders. They hope to influence government policies towards implementing positive actions that contribute in building sustainable peace and development.