North West: Red Cross Empowers Journalists

Bamenda (Mezam) - Over 30 journalists from the North West region have been trained on how to report during crisis situation. The training organized by the Red cross and the Red Crescent International Movement Cameroon was a timely gesture as journalists of the region are now faced with the challenges of covering the present Anglophone crisis that has claimed the lives of some citizens and military living in the region.

The outbreak of the Anglophone crisis has turned into a full blown armed conflict and as reporters, most often journalists find themselves in the war front so as to give out information to the public. For two days, journalists were drilled on how to report in crisis situation, the  aspects of the law that  protect them and what the Red cross can do  to assist journalists found in armed conflicts areas.

The media practitioners were also giving the opportunity to learn about the red cross and how they operate. According to the coordinator of the International Committee of Red cross Cameroon, Richard Desgagne, the Red cross is a humanitarian organization with an obligation to  help people affected by violence.

He said journalists play a vital role in reporting conflicts as a result they need to be prepared on how to go about their job. While presenting his paper on the basics on International Law, Ngono Oyona Ghislan a legal adviser reveled that journalists are considered as civilians in war zone and must be protected as such. He further explained that journalists should be allow to do their job freely on the war fronts but with precautions not to be targeted.
 Other presentation included “ the red cross and the red crescent movement, the fundamental principles”, “The Cameroonian red cross”, “ The law of war reporting”, “ The role of journalists in the protection of persons adversely affected by conflicts and violence”, just to name a few.

Ayuk John Ashu and Choves Loh shared experiences on dangerous mission and how to do humanitarian reporting. Meanwhile the head of the communication unit of the red cross Rosine Solange Kam Belinga reminded the median practitioners that before going on the field for reporting in an armed conflict, they must understand the background of the conflicts.

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