The coordinator of Community Initiative for Sustainable Development, COMINSUD, an NGO in the North West Region of Cameroon, Fon Nsoh has called on those carrying arms in conflict-hit North West and South West Anglophone Regions to stop the violence on civilian population.
He was talking to pressmen at the end of focus group discussion to promote tolerance, non-violence, inclusion and positivity held recently in Bamenda. To him, the violence ensued on civilians has built a lot of negativity in them.
Given the negativity accrued among the civilian population in the NWSW, COMINSUD through her Civil Peace Service program brought together 51 community leaders from Mezam to engage them deconstruct the bitterness and bad emotions harnessed in them. In turn, these leaders rebuilt confidence, reconnected to values that promote behavior change and positivity.
These community leaders having availed themselves with these values are expected in their respective communities to be more tolerant even towards their sufferers, encourage community dialogue for peace building to take roots.
Using the open-space discussion approach, the facilitator, Budji Raymond said the intention was to reawaken values of tolerance, non-violence, inclusion and positivity embedded in participants which had hitherto eluded them for social reconstruction.
By this manner of facilitation we call open-space discussion, people did not come to be taught but people came to think. We only guided their thoughts by probing questions that would cause them to think, he elaborated.
It was thus a forum in which participants pledged their quota of commitment to rebuilding a safe and peaceful society in the North West region of Cameroon at the time when Raymond said government has stopped thinking, separatist leaders have stopped thinking; there is need for the people to start thinking because the solution would come from the people.
To some participants, the discussions were timely and they look forward to taking actions in their respective communities as community leaders which would reincarnate these values of positivity in them as well as identify those who have been excluded so they can chart the way forward together.