Cameroon: peace processes are always complicated, recalls Mélanie Joly

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Cameroon: peace processes are always complicated, recalls Mélanie Joly

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly speaking to the media, Tuesday, in Hamilton, Ontario.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has not explained why the government of Cameroon says it never asked for Canada's help in conducting peace talks aimed at ending the war. the escalation of the conflict in this country.

Ms. Joly, however, said on Tuesday that Ottawa still wanted to negotiate an agreement.

Peace processes are always complicated, are always long too, so our goal is to ensure that we play a positive role and bring the parties to the negotiating table, said the minister on the sidelines of the meeting. x27;A Federal Cabinet Retreat, at Hamilton.

She recalled that many civilians are suffering from the crisis that has lasted for 40 years.

I think we have to take a deep breath – a deep breath, as we say in Quebec , she added.

Ottawa announced last Friday that it was holding talks with the government of Cameroon and different groups, which have found themselves in a conflict that has violently escalated in recent years. Ms. Joly's office says three meetings have already taken place in Ontario and Quebec.

We were approached by the Cameroonian government, and we also had a UN representative present during the mediation, Ms. Joly added on Tuesday.

< p class="e-p">However, the Cameroonian government indicated on Monday that it had not appointed any external mediator.

René Sadi, Cameroon's Minister of Communication, wrote in a press release that Cameroon has not entrusted any external country or entity with any role of mediator or facilitator to resolve the crisis.

The Cameroon High Commission in Ottawa did not respond to a request for an interview.

Years of fighting and conflict have resulted in the displacement of nearly 800,000 people in the country. These conflicts concern how the largely English-speaking western region of Cameroon, a predominantly French-speaking country, should be governed.

Colonial powers carved up the borders of West-Central Africa, demarcating Nigeria and Cameroon and rejecting local demands to form an independent state, known as ;Ambazonia.

The conflict has killed more than 6,000 people since 2017 and left 600,000 children without full access to education. According to the United Nations, fighting continued between state security forces and armed groups, leading to killings and displacement of civilians, including attacks on schools and children.

Switzerland attempted mediation to end the so-called Anglophone crisis in 2019, but Ms. Joly said those efforts failed.

She said Ottawa remains committed to helping the country reach a peace deal. Our only interest is to make sure the parties are at the table, she said.

A spokesperson for Ms. Joly said Ottawa was in contact Tuesday with Cameroonian government officials.

Cameroon has been ruled by President Paul Biya for 40 years, and Human Rights Watch says his government has limited the freedom of people. expression and association of opposition parties.

Aid groups denounced atrocities committed by government and aid forces. opposed.

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