By Regis Che in Buea
Stephen Ajanga Obah Echochu has chronicled the situation of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who continue to toil in the heat of the Cameroon Anglophone conflict, 5 years after escalation.
This was in the first ever MSc. Thesis in Conflict Resolution, defended at the University of Buea, Saturday, May 14, 2022.
“UN Specialised Agencies And The Management Of Internally Displaced Persons In Conflict Zone: An Appraisal Of UNHCR In Anglophone Cameroon” was the topic the researcher disected for one hour to a body of 3-man jury included the Masters decree candidate’s supervisor, Prof. Ta-Mbi Nkongho.
The Anglophone armed conflict has had a lot of untold misery on inhabitants of the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.
Aside recording over 3000 deaths, according Human Rights Watch, tens of thousands of IDPs remain in the bushes as they flee hostilities between government forces and separatist fighters.
Pricked by the disturbing situation of the IDPs, Stephen
Echochu, Co-founder and Executive President of the Center for Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa, CEPSDA, decided to explore the subject.
While the findings revealed that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, has provided assistance to IDPs such as protection, shelter and food, the peace crusader, cum researcher said a lot more is required.
In an exclusive interview with TWIF NEWS shortly after the rigorous defense session, Stephen Echochu opined that access to IDPs remains a difficult task for humanitarian workers who are often precluded by the warring parties.
This, according to the researcher, worsens the situation of IDPS, most of whom are yet to receive humanitarian assistance since the outset of the deadly war.
“The government should understand that humanitarian organizations are neutral in conflicts situations,” the rechercher recommended.
Although some activities of humanitarian organizations sometimes seem partisan, Echochu remains steadfast that it is in a bit to save lives.
Stephen Ajanga Obah Echochu is so far the first ever Cameroonian to defend a Masters thesis in Conflict Resolution.
Echochu’s defense is one of many that will be coming up in the days ahead in the Department of International Relations and Conflict Resolution of the Faculty of Laws and Political Science, University of Buea.