BRIDGING THE GAP: A Call for Peace and Community Cohesion

CEP Cameroon in partnership with INTERNEWS has engaged in a peace Campaign since October 2019 dubbed ‘Bridging The Gap’ This campaign is raising public awareness on human rights violations in the affected two regions in the North West and South West with the goal of bridging the gap between English speaking and French speaking communities in Cameroon.The socio-political crisis in the has created a rift and tension between the two linguistic sections that keeps growing as the crisis escalates.  Hence, there is a need to keep equipping citizens with knowledge on human rights and building the culture of peace and community cohesion both on and offline while calling for continues effective dialogue processes and return to peace and stability.

Diversity is strength. Embrace it, Share it, Celebrate it. 

Cameroon, a country previously known for its stability and peace but has continued to face violence and serious human rights abuses since 2016 following the armed conflict in the North-West and South-West regions which has already claimed a minimum of 3000 human lives and counting. According to World Report 2019, the United Nations estimates 437,500 people in the Anglophone North West and South West regions refuges with about 32,600 Cameroonians found refuges in Nigeria. Following hostilities in the two conflict regions. This has caused not only a huge loss of lives but also mass exodus from the two affected regions and huge loss of infrastructure and development with women and girls being highly affected. 

In March 2019, High Representative Federica Mogherini stated that: "the persistent violence and human rights abuses in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon have created an unacceptable number of victims as well as enormous human and material damages". Despite the National dialogue deal held in Yaounde, stability and peace has continued to be a far cry in these two regions. 

 The project’s bilingual sensitization campaign video; ‘BRIDGING THE GAP’ on peace and community cohesion produced in partnership with La Liberté Arts Cameroon has hit waves on television and social media channels calling on Cameroonians from all regions of the country to uphold a culture of peace, dialogue and cohesion towards development and a sustainable future.  

Looking at the impact of this project, we hop for a stable country with equal opportunity for all irrespective of ethnic or linguistic background. Through television stations, publications and social media, we have increased the citizens’ demand for dialogue and peace in and out of country. Cameroonians have gained more education online and offline on human rights, digital rights and peace advocacy.  The project has gained international attention in Europe as the the peace campaign video was premiered at the fringe of Leuven International short film festival at the University of Leuven in Belgium. 

It is hoped that this project will further amplify the voice the affected people and of digital and human rights advocacy in Cameroon. That advocates and citizens are encouraged to continue to amplify human rights advocacy at all levels. Just as peace is the bedrock of development in every nation digital Rights are human rights and should be respected.