Peace and security sensitization campaign
Cameroon is going through a security crisis with attacks from the Boko Haram terrorist group from neighboring Nigeria which has already caused hundreds of deaths among civilians and soldiers. This campaign is aimed at educating young people about peace and security and other related issues in Cameroon. Peace which is an indispensable catalyst for the development of a country needs to be promoted in Cameroon, where there’s insecurity caused by terrorist sects from neighboring countries.
This is not a cultural conflict opposing people from the North to those from South; it's is not a conflict opposing Muslim to Christian, the enemy is unknown and no one can tell what they want. After many attacks at the frontiers, now they have adopted other strategies using children for suicide attacks, particularly young girls. An example is the attack carried out in Maroua, in Cameroon’s Far North in July 2015, killing more than 100 people in one week.
We don’t know where they plan to attack next.
- The campaign aims at engaging students/youths, individuals, traditional rulers, taxi drivers, motorbike riders, transport agencies, religious institutions, organizations, vocational training institutions, etc, in the peacekeeping process and preventing them from joining extremist groups since they can be manipulated and flattered with money.
- To support Cameroon and individuals against terrorist sects.
- To create awareness of the danger of various terrorist sects.
- To support individuals to find inner peace and share that peace with families and communities and not to accept gifts or money to carry out a terrorist act.
- To support individuals not to join groups of people they don’t know.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
The objectives were achieved by successfully speaking to over 15 000 people, by moving to over 40 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, vocational training institutions and other public places.
We have also organized two big events, one at the central mosque under the theme ‘Youth and interreligious dialogue for the preservation of peace and security in Cameroon.’ This brought together both Christians and Muslims.
Another one was organized in the locality of Esu in Fongong Sub-Division Menchum Valley, which involved the Esu youth and the entire community since they share a common boundary with Neighboring Nigeria. Another conference is scheduled for 8 February in Bamenda which will involve artists (musicians) to talk on the role of music for the preservation of peace and security.
And on February 10th another conference will be organized in Ngohkutunjah Sub-Division for peace and security which will bring together schools and the community for a seminar.
Round table discussions
- How to cope in the midst of a terrorism zone
- Conflict prevention and resolution
- Peace keeping and security
- Methods of identifying a terrorist
- We should look after our children not allowing them to go out at certain times
- Cleaning dustbins to avoid them being used as hideouts and bins should always be far from the campus entrance so that no one can walk there and hide a bomb.
- Stay vigilant in public places, markets, church, mosque, schools, streets, hospitals, stadium …
- Always observe around, maybe someone has bombs attached on his chest or belly
- Collaborate with local authorities and denounce every suspicious person or activity
The campaign on peace and security has impacted at least 15 000 Cameroonian citizens, and over 2 000 people on social media.
The challenges that we faced during the campaign of peace and security were as follows:
- Lack of means of transportation.
- Poor communication equipment and lack of internet connection to carry out research, lack of a proper sound system such as loud speakers and megaphones.
- A lack of flyers and chats / pictures, inadequate writing materials such as bold makers, chalk, cardboard papers etc.
During the sensitization campaign on peace and security, we learnt new skills such as public speaking, met new people of different cultural identity, made new friends.