Cameroonians have been urged to draw inspiration from former South African President Nelson Mandela in order to heal the wounds of division in the country.
The call was made by a panel of experts comprised of academics, researchers and diplomats on Tuesday July 17 during a forum organised by the Denis and Lenora Foretia to celebrate the Nelson Mandela Day.
One of the keynote speakers of the forum, the South African High Commissioner to Cameroon, Mgomosto Ruth Magau said Cameroon could borrow a leaf from South Africa’s path to freedom and justice led by Nelson Mandela.
He told Cameroonians to be draw for Mandela’s will to forgive as well as South Africa’s honesty to establish a truth and reconciliation committee to heal the post apartheid wounds.
Her views were equally echoed in two separate pannel discussions held under the topics “Nelson’s Mandela’s legacy what lessons for Cameroon’s identity” , an “how Cameroon can benefit from South Africa’s experience in resolving major conflicts.”
Dr. Willbroad Dze Ngwa, historian -political scientist and lecturer at the University of Yaounde I traced the genesis of the the crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, its manifestations and possible solutions to the crisis.
He stressed only dialogue under firm, frank, friendly and friendly conditions can help the country come out of the impasse in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.
On his part, Dr. Ibrahim Mouiche, lecturer at the University of Yaounde II called on Cameroonians to emulate Mandela’s non violent approach to advocate for change. He however called on the powers that be to revamp various policies notably regional balance that could lead to inclusiveness of marginalised communities.
The need for social dialogue and grassroot inclusion of local communities in the management of public life could help ease frustrations amongst marginalised communities, José Manga, researcher at the National Centre for Education said while outlining methods of resolving conflicts in Cameroon drawing from the Cameroonian context.
The UN General Assembly declared the 18 July as “Nelson Mandela International Day” in honor of Nelson Mandela’s contribution to peace and human rights. Following that declaration, the UN joins the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s call for people worldwide to spend 67 minutes every July 18 to acknowledge and celebrate Mandela’s contribution and dedication to peace and human rights.
It is in that light that the Nkafu Policy Institute, think tank at the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation organized Tuesday’s event to commemorate the Nelson Mandela International Day.
One of the highlights of Tuesday’s forum was the handing over of the innaugural Nelson Mandela Memorial Award to Barrister Felix Agbor Balla in recognition of his commitment to human rights as practised by Nelson Mandela.