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US calls for ‘immediate’ dialogue over Cameroon conflict

FILE PHOTO: Cameroon Unrests

United Nations, United States | AFP | The United States on Thursday called for “immediate and broad-based reconciliatory dialogue” in between Cameroon’s government and separatists, urging talks “without pre-conditions.”

“We urge all sides to forswear violence, to restore peace, and to resolve their grievances through political dialogue,” said Jonathan Cohen, the US Deputy Representative to the United Nations.

“The security and humanitarian conditions in Cameroon’s northwest and southwest regions have significantly deteriorated,” he said, adding that escalating violence is preventing humanitarian aid delivery and blocking rural children from receiving education and health services.

“October was the most violent month on record in Cameroon in recent years, and judging from anecdotal reports, we fear that November will surpass October as the bloodiest month on record,” Cohen continued. “We don’t want to see that horrible trend continue again this month.”

“The violence must stop now.”

Since secessionists from the West African country’s English speaking region took up arms last year, attacks by their fighters and a crackdown by the authorities have led to the death of at least 500 civilians as well as more than 200 members of the security forces, according to the International Crisis Group.

The conflict has already forced more than 437,000 people to flee their homes, according to the UN.

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