By Eric Tataw – Friday March 1, 2019.
The United Nations (UN) has told National Telegraph, its activities on the English-speaking regions of Cameroon aka Ambazonia, started way-back in 2018.
According to a Senior Official of the UN team based in Buea, the
“The UN first set foot on Buea, in May 2018, with a staff, who worked from a hotel. He was basically carrying out surveys, and everything ranking as such, the official said.
He added that the staff was mainly for recognizance survey, before finally setting a base in October, where all control activities are being carried out.
In September, the first UN team arrived Buea and planted an office at Tuborg Junction. Almost immediately, the UN team relocated to Douala until after the October 2018 Presidential elections. We effectively began operations activities from October 16, 2018,” our source said.
The Senior UN Official asserted that so far, three UN agencies for humanitarian response are stationed in Buea; the UN-OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees), and the UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).
Our source went on that the UN-OCHA also has agencies like WFP (World Food Programme). Besides the UN agencies, National Telegraph gathered that partner agencies like the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Doctors Without Borders, International Red Cross Organisation, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), amongst others have been operating in the two English-speaking regions before 2019.
This vital information comes to sanction any previous, citing the UN of only coming to Cameroon or attempting to come this 2019. So far, the UN has been carrying out humanitarian, as well as information gathering and sharing activities in the trouble-hit regions of the North West and South West for over nine (9) months. Though they work in low-profile, their activities have resonating effects right at the UN Headquarters.
UN has three offices in Buea; one is off the main road on the left approximately 400m up from Bongo Square, the other about another 400m not too far from the Mountain Club and a further one is not far from the AGCOM Church near the Buea Regional Hospital, our source said, adding that UN vehicles are seen almost every day on the streets of Buea and other areas in the South West where it has any Humanitarian Activity.
In a nutshell, National Telegraph has gathered that the UN has a Humanitarian Branch made up of agencies like those just mentioned above that uphold the principles that provide the fundamental foundations for humanitarian action. According to a UN brochure, h
While our source again hinted that the UN has no office in Bamenda but goes there periodically, National Telegraph gathered that promoting compliance with humanitarian principles in humanitarian response is an essential element of effective humanitarian coordination which is a core value of some of these UN agencies.
The UN also has a military arm which is the Security Council that is charged with intervening militarily to resolve armed conflicts by having its members pass Resolutions. Until such Resolutions are enacted before the UN would intervene militarily. That notwithstanding, the Humanitarian Branch is spontaneous like those already in Buea. The various Humanitarian agencies carry out their duties with impartiality, National Telegraph gathered.
It was the UN presence that caused the Government of Cameroon to create a coordination committee, to supervise humanitarian activities in the two English-speaking regions. However, the UN has always refused to work with any committee linked to any party in the ongoing deepening conflict. Several times, the government of Paul Biya has been trying to coordinate the UN’s activities, a thing that the UN has rejected.
Ambazonia is an outlawed country in which the majority of its residents; the English-speaking regions are seeking to restore what was formerly British Southern Cameroons. The Biya administration has been clamping down on the insurgency, living many unarmed and innocent persons dead. Hence the presence of UN Humanitarian Agencies is vital for the affected populations.