National Peace, Security: Imperative Relaxation For Better Future
Cameroonians from all strata of the society have to observe a thaw in the fields of politics and security in order to consolidate national peace.
President Paul Biya in his New Year message to the nation on December 31, 2019 after citing recent high mobilisation moments in the country told Cameroonians, “As you can see, a new Cameroon is taking shape; a Cameroon that is adapted to present times and looks to the future.”
The main event that inspired the Head of State was the Major National Dialogue that took place at the Yaounde Conference Centre from September 30 to October 4, 2019 in which Cameroonians from all sectors of the society both at home and in the Diaspora contributed not only to the way out of the teething security problems in the country but more importantly to shaping the prosperous future of the country. Referring therefore to the future of Cameroon after the dialogue, President Biya said, “In this seven-year term of Great Opportunities for Cameroon, the Major National Dialogue has paved the way for our country to resolutely embark on the path to peace, national unity and progress, which are values that have always made our country great.” While mobilising the nation for the tasks ahead, he appealed, “Together, let us make Cameroon a land of great opportunities for economic and social development in peace and unity.”
Government has set the pace for thawing the political and security atmosphere in the country which different national actors as well as Cameroon’s development partners need to follow. The convening of the Major National Dialogue in itself was a key step by government to bring Cameroonians together to brainstorm and propose solutions to security challenges rocking the country and the way forward in promoting national peace, unity, living together and development for general good. On the closing day of the dialogue, President Paul Biya ordered the discontinuance of proceedings pending before Military Tribunals against 333 persons arrested for misdemeanors in connection with the crisis in the North West and South West Regions. The next day on October 5, 2019, he ordered the release of the leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), Prof. Maurice Kamto and some of his supporters who were arrested and locked up in connection with instigating political upheavals.
Also, the laws President Biya has enacted based on the bills adopted in the November 2019 ordinary session in Parliament and the extraordinary session are a continuous manifestation of the thaw in the political and security atmosphere in the country. The laws relate to the promotion of official languages, amendment of the Penal Code making provisions for sanctions against contempt based on ethnic groups, religion and languages, as well as the Law to Institute the General Code of Regional and Local Authorities with a book on the special status to the North West and South West Regions.
All other actors such as moral, religious, traditional authorities and civil society have to effectively in their respective domains join the campaign and mobilisation caravan. The examples of moral authorities such as Cardinal Christian Tumi and Archbishop Andrew Nkea who led the peace caravans to help bring back normalcy to the crisis-ridden North West and South West Regions respectively, have to be copied. Members of the National Assembly and Senators besides voting laws, have to champion political and security thawing campaigns in their respective constituencies.
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