17, April 2019
Leymah Roberta Gbowee, 2011 Noble Peace Prize winner, Liberian female peace activist, on Tuesday called for ending of disputes in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions that have been ravaged by war in the last two years.
“As someone who has survived war and has lived through it, I will tell Cameroonians, war has never been the answer to solving any kind of problem. My message to Cameroon is that it should never be Anglophone or Francophone, it should be one Cameroon, one people.” Gbowee told reporters in the capital Yaounde after meeting with government officials.
She said that she had spent three days in the restive regions urging for an end to the war and intensifying efforts to defend the rights of women and girls in the conflict zone.
“It is the women and girls who pay the brunt of it. There is always increase in sexually transmitted diseases, rape and abuse and teen pregnancies.” Gbowee said, citing the example of her country, Liberia which she said should serve as an example for Cameroon that nobody wins war.
“We (Liberia) went through a very devastating civil war where we killed almost 10 percent of our population and the impact is still been felt by the population. There are no winners in any kind of crisis. It takes generations for the pains to go away,” she said.
Cameroon is largely populated by French-speakers, but since November 2017, Anglophone minority have formed armed groups to fight for the independence of the English-speaking regions after complaining of decades of marginalization.