On the 28 of June 2018, American corner of the University of Buea in partnership with Youth Advocate for Peace and community Empowerment Cameroon (YAPCEC) organize a peace conference at the Faculty Board Room of the faculty of Art in the University of Buea. I was also privilege to be one of the participant during this event which number of issues were discuss during group discussion with the supervision of Mr. Bochum Samuel Bache (National Youth Delegate to Commonwealth and Executive Director of YAPCEC Cameroon). Many speakers were invited and more to that people of great impact in our society. That is in addition to Mr. Bochum, we had in our midst Barrister Poubom Rehbe, madam Neola Lyonga, Mr. Wirsiy Franklin Sevidzem and Mr. Lukong Leslie Kenyuy. Number of issues pertaining to youth involvement in the promotion of peace and security were discuss with regard to Northwest and Southwest or the Anglophone region of Cameroon.
Regional Youth Peace and security Conference held in the University of Buea laid more emphases on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 and the Commonwealth Youth Forum Declarations. It is worthy to note that the above two mention declarations or resolution by UN and Commonwealth focuses on security issues which of course the youths of South West region are potential victims of insecurity rocking the region.
Drawing number of youths from different municipality like Limbe, Tiko, Mutengene, etc. The interest of peace and security was of great importance as the following personalities had talks with their respective topics in the paragraphs below.
Barrister Poubom Rehbe. He is legal practitioner, former secretary general of univeresty of Buea student union (UBSU) and he happens to be a victim of police brutality during the lowers strike in 2016. His presentation was on Youth and Democratic Participation toward Peace and Security Building. When he stood up he said “since wars begin in the minds of men it is in the minds of men that defenses must be constructed”. Only this statement tilled toward using dialogue as a means of solving problems in our society. And he laments after and said when we staged a strike in 2016, it was to express their indebtedness in solving problems in a democratic way. But is unfortunate that together with their status as legal practitioners, they were publicly flogged by police men when they march and pass. This was so pathetic to us who are still grooming to become lawyers. The way forward that the youths were encourage to participate toward peace building was that they should be try by all possible means to approach the competent authorities through a peaceful demonstration and stay away from using violence as a means of revenge. But the question that remain unanswered was to how far the security is granted when youths are expressing their grievances when lawyers were not protected during their own strike?
Madam Neola Lyonga. She is the founder of non-governmental organization by name Neola Lyonga foundation. She presented a talk on Youth and Good Governance Toward Peace and Security Building. Engagement in Honesty effectiveness, accountability and Transparency Toward Peace Building in our society. She emphasized that there is a failure of governance in Africa because the rule of law has whole fully failed within the jurisdiction of our continent. The way forward according to her was that youths are supposed to involve in non-violence fire back tactics toward solving problems or as a means of tabling their grievances to the authorities in power. This means that when there use of violence youth
Mr. Bochum Samuel Bache. Who double as National youth delegate to commonwealth had a talk on UN security council resolution 2250 and he also had a talk pertaining to Africa Agenda 1963. His focus was to the effect on what the government is supposed to be doing in protecting youths from being involve in violence activities. Thus Mr. Bochum actually butchered what Security council resolution 2250 required from the government of countries who are signatories to UN. Accordingly, the government of various countries around the world and Africa in particularly need in time of insecurity to provide maximum security measures, job opportunities to the youths, provide health facilities and most of all try by all possible means to protect displace person within the conflicting zones (refugees) with necessary social and economic facilities. It is worthy to note that Africa Agenda 2063 is impliedly and expressly focusing on youths as potential leaders of now and tomorrow. Hence youths are encouraged to take their responsibilities to developed their mindset toward leadership skills to build a better tomorrow.
Mr. Wirsiy Franklin Sevidzem. who doubles as University of Buea American Corner (UBAC) Health Resource Person was called to speak on the topic Youth and Health toward Peace and Security Building. One with a heart of love and passion could not withstand the tears of sorrow during his presentation which draws the attention of audience with pictures of hopeless children and youths during wars time dying in misery. Talking on the effects of wars pertaining to health conditions of youths in our society, Mr. Franklin emphasizes on the fact that during wars or conflict in our African society in particular, youths are always infected with a lot of diseases such as malaria, HIV, stress, early pregnancy etc. For example when there is no good drinking water for children or youths they will likely contact Malaria and other diseases, polluted air with smoke from fire and bomb explosions, when there is war youths run to bushes where they are not secure from mosquito bite and other reptile like snakes and all the like and finally when there is war hopeless youths are psychologically hurt when they lost their love ones, thus making them to take up arms against the government. Thus health condition of youths should be a prime measure to put in place by the government when there are conflicts within our African society so that youths should not be involve in arm struggle against the government
Mr. Lukong Leslie Kenyuy. He is one of the working staff in University of Buea American corner (UBAC) and he had a talk on the service the American Corner provide to students and to youths in particular in building a worth living sociable society. American Corner is platform which is link to American Embassy and it exist in nearly or all Countries having relationship with America. University of Buea and the youths in particular having the privilege to benefit from the services which the American Corner provides to them, Mr. Lukong called on the youths to make good use of it. For example, in American Corner, there is free internet services to research, there are educative puzzle games, leadership and educative films, discussion panels, and the platform also provide interested persons intending to study in the United states of America with guidance on how to go about it.
Group Discussion. This was last agenda of the conference in which we the youths were ask to propose solutions with regard to what the government of Cameroon need to take as security measures toward the youths when there are conflicts. Taking into consideration resolution 2250, we were asked to discuss on various groups and come up with draft and possible recommendations on how the government can solve the Anglophone problem which is rocking the region of Northwest and Southwest.