Over 30 youths have been drilled on the importance of peace in the society and the role they can play in advocating for peace and conflict resolution. This was during a workshop that took place at the Bamenda Regional hospital multipurpose hall, organized by Pedmia Shatu Tita, a journalist and peace advocate on Friday August 9 2019 under the theme “youths facilitating the peace process in Cameroon”. The training session which lasted about 6 hours focused on youths’ participation in peace building especially in Cameroon and conflict transformation.
According to Rosaline Obah, a facilitator and peace advocate, conflict transformation means transforming negative destructive conflict into positive constructive conflict or viewing a conflict from a positive angle. She also highlighted the importance of choosing a “win win” position in conflict by both parties involved in order to avoid conflict. Rose Obah used the workshop as an opportunity to call on the youths to encourage dialogue as a first step to their contribution in peace building in the country, avoid hate speech and also sensitize the community on the importance of peace and act as mediators in conflict resolution. “A mediator is a 3rd trusted party who comes in to facilitate the process of a conflict resolution”. Added Rose Obah
Cameroon is currently wrapped in the folds of conflict, with the escalating crisis in the North west and South west regions, violent extremist groups in the North and political upheavals in neighboring Central African Republic.
To peace journalist Ndisi Gilbert and trainer at the workshop, peace building involves a broad range of measures which can be taken before, during and after a conflict thus aiming to an outbreak, escalation and continuation of conflict.
Talking to the Maikem Diary, Pedmia Shatu Tita says, youths are the most active citizens of Cameroon and as such they should be part of the peace building process in Cameroon. She also called on them to be peace ambassador in their various communities thus passing on the message of peace
Claudette Kum, a participant at the workshop says, attending the workshop has shaped her views on peace building and is prepared to contribute to the process of conflict resolution in Cameroon.
It should be noted that youths are the most affected in the current crisis rocking the NW and SW regions and as such should play their role in finding long lasting peaceful solutions to the problem.
Amamboh Carrey-Pride and Maikem Emmanuela Manzie