12, March 2020
The Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiation(CDN), has concluded consultations with Washington D.C. local health officials and George Washington University event management team about the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the prospect of holding the three (3) day “International Conference on the Armed Conflict in the Southern Cameroons” at the George Washington University from March 19-21, 2020.Putting the safety of all participants first, the Coalition hereby announces its decision to postpone the conference to June 18-20, 2020 at the same venue. During this time the Working Groups will continue to meet and deliberate.
The Coalition also assessed current measures, including online classes and work from home options, taken by different universities and corporate institutions in the U.S. and worldwide, limiting travel by staff and in some cases their families. These life saving measures impact the ability of many conference participants to travel within the U.S. and from around the world to the U.S. As we closely monitor the evolution of actions taken by the U.S. and other governments, we will continue to build momentum for the conference as well as maintain pressure for the international community to engage forcefully to end the ongoing armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons.
Continued fighting in the Southern Cameroons has since 2017 reportedly resulted in more than 12,000 deaths, arbitrary arrests, and imprisonment of Southern Cameroonians. The government of Cameroon reported the killing of at least 700 of its security forces and administrative personnel. Over 300 villages have been razed forcing the displacement of more than 900,000 and over 60,000 seeking refuge in other countries including Nigeria and the United States. An estimated one million children have been unable to attend school for the past three years, and approximately 1.9 million face severe hunger. Several attempts of the government of Cameroon to quench the armed conflict without addressing the root causes have continue to fail.
The Coalition will keep you updated with every new information pertaining to this armed conflict and the international conference. The conference website https://aic.coalitionfdn.org/will also be updated regularly.Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you in June 2020. We are deeply sorry for the inconveniences this postponement may cause you.
For the Steering Committee,