By Amindeh Blaise Atabong, December 8, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Achaleke Christian Leke, Cameroon Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth, has expressed fears that the use of force and excessive violence by the government to calm down ongoing protests could radicalize young people, referring to young Anglophone Cameroonians.
In a statement sent to our newsroom, the youth, peace, security and counter violent extremism activist strongly suggestred that government’s strategy to address the agitations of Anglophone groupings could instead aggravate the situation in the North West and South West Regions.
While declaring his stance against any form of violence, Achaleke called for inclusive dialogue and the development of concrete actions towards resolving the worsening Anglophone marginalization in the country.
“I condemn in firm terms, the use of violence against civilian demonstrators most of whom are young people. The right to peaceful demonstration is an important political right as
enshrined in Article 8 section 1d of the 1966 Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights,” Achaleke noted.
Noting that youths make up over 70% of the country’s population, the peace activist said young people must be brought to the dialogue table if there be intentions to reach sustainable peace. “We have proven our worth as change makers and leaders of today and not tomorrow,” he explained.
“Equally, I use this opportunity to call on the civil society, religious and traditional rulers, international organisations and other actors of nation building in and out of Cameroon to engage in the most innovative and non-violent perspectives in solving this crisis. There is the need to broker a sustainable peace deal for both parties and de-escalate the violence.”
According to the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2016, “dialogue, negotiation and non-violent approaches are expected from both ends. Cosmetic peace deals will not be sustainable and may lead to a bigger challenge after few months.” He said.