Yaounde (National Times)-Former United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator, Jan Egeland has lamented over the carnage ongoing in Former British Southern Cameroons as he visited villages and towns transformed into battle grounds
“This senseless conflict has displaced more than half a million people, these are women and children and many of them are out in the open,” Egeland said in an interview over the BBC.
Egeland said he was shocked by the amount of people engulfed in the conflict as he visited towns and villages. He alleged that about a million children are out of school already owing to political rivalries over the system of education, culture and governance.
He expressed dissatisfaction that the war is not receiving similar media and international attention as other cases. He announced that only 10% of funds needed to reach out to IDPs have been secured and many journalists are not visiting the area –
“It is a striking contrast to the global outrage to what happened in Darfur…..here there are very few humanitarian organisations, and we are underfunded. Only 10% of humanitarian appeal issued by the UN is received, so 90% of the funding is not there…aid workers in these areas are underfunded, there are few witnesses and few people to talk. Only few journalists go there as there is very little media attention to it,” Egeland lamented.
According to the diplomat, the situation in Southern Cameroons is one of the largest humanitarian disasters in recent years but the international community has remained mute over the plight of desperate civilians trapped in the war.
Egeland took to his tweeter account to express his frustration about the situation in Southern Cameroons. “Brutal violence has displaced half a million people in Cameroon, but there is no mediation, no large relief program, and little pressure on the parties to stop attacking civilians. People I have spoken with feel abandoned by the International Community,” he said.
Jan Egeland is a Norwegian Politician who served as UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator between 2003 and 2006. He has also been Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch. Since 2013, he is serving as the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council with representations in about 30 countries round the world. He is the highest profiled humanitarian coordinator to visit Cameroon and especially affected persons since the conflict started.