Cameroon - Anglophone Crisis: International Rescue Committee President says “full-blown civil war is sadly on the horizon” as humanitarian needs soar

Par Atia T. AZOHNWI | Cameroon-Info.Net
Limbe - 11-Jul-2019 - 12h18   2516                      
David Miliband, President/CEO International Rescue Committee Twitter
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has presented a sorry picture of the situation in Cameroon's North West and South West Regions, expressing fears it may degenerate into a civil war if peace is not given a chance.

He made the statement at the conclusion of his four-day visit to Chad and Cameroon. “I traveled to Chad and Cameroon to meet IRC staff and witness the modern face of humanitarian crisis: multiple fronts of conflict, growing displacement and poverty all deteriorating thanks to the undeniable impact of climate change," he said.

The IRC President says that in Cameroon, humanitarian needs have never been greater as the country grapples with two concurrent emergencies: a budding conflict in the North-West and South-West, and an uptick in extremist violence in the Far North."

"In Cameroon, conflict in the North-West and South-West is now also the fastest-growing displacement crisis in Africa. 1,800 civilians have already been killed, half a million displaced, 700,000 children unable to attend school," Miliband said.

The International Rescue Committee chief said: "I was shocked by the accounts of internally-displaced Cameroonians I met in Limbe, in the country’s South-West, receiving cash vouchers from the IRC. I heard from a man who, held at gunpoint, witnessed his daughter being humiliated in front of him by armed combatants; an IRC assessment confirms that episodes of violence like this are the case for eight in ten women and girls caught in the conflict.

“Without a steep change in internal political dynamics, full-blown civil war is sadly on the horizon. The IRC's 150 staff on the ground are preparing for the long haul.

"This modern face of humanitarian crisis is one of ever-increasing complexity. But it is not insoluble. The international community needs to provide a concerted boost in humanitarian assistance.

"The crises facing Cameroon and Chad are multifaceted and long-term, but in each case, the funds destined to support a decade on average of displacement are slim. Refugees and IDPs need to be able to rebuild their lives and support themselves alongside their host communities. The nature of these crises requires donors, more importantly, to dismantle the increasingly obsolete distinction between humanitarian and development financing, provide multi-year funding and invest in interventions that support self-reliance of displaced and host communities in the medium to longer term.

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