Journalists: Threat of election violence is real
BAMENDA, CAMEROON--Journalists at our one day peace journalism workshop today in Bamenda, in English speaking Cameroon, left me with one overriding concern: violence in the 2018 Cameroonian elections.
|PJ seminar, Bamenda, Cameroon|
When I asked about the possibility of election violence at my seminar a few days ago in French speaking Yaounde, the capital, the journalists were split three ways. One third predicted there would be no violence, one third said that there might be, and one third said there would be. Here, the journalists unanimously predicted that there would be violence during at least one of next year’s elections. (Separate elections on different dates are held for different offices). This is predictable given the ongoing crisis in Anglophone Cameroon which includes deadly protests, strikes by teachers and lawyers, and the incarceration of eight journalists. Emotions are running high here, understandably, so while their prediction was no surprise, it was unnerving nonetheless.
|Bonus photo: One cool sight on the way to Bamenda!|
It’s my hope that journalists can apply some of the lessons of peace journalism proactively to ease the tension and circumvent violence in the country’s Anglophone regions. If not, 2018 could be a long, and sad, year for Cameroon.