More than 25 Human Rights activist received training on how to defend themselves and their peers in conflict areas and situations. Although the focus was on female activists the knowledge shared during the training session was of great importance to other activists considering their actions often than not are misunderstood to be interference into people’s privacy.
The training was triggered following the current social unrest in the two Anglophone Regions which has witnessed the loss of lives, properties and violence against human right activist as well as women and girls. Participants at the training revealed that security is a major concern in carrying out their activities adding that female activists during this period are faced with more challenges and are vulnerable.
In his session the CEO of LUKMEF Cameroon Tanyi Christian urged participants to consider their security eminent. He cautioned activist to ensure the people they are investigating do not have access to their property; like cars and office space. Christian went on to say that as activist there is need to verify source of information before taking action as taking action based on false information puts the activist on wrong footing. As a strategy Christian urged activist to constitute a network, through which the will be reduction in use of resources as well easy follow up in difficult situations.
Reacting to the rational for the training the CEO of LUKMEF stated that our customs and traditions primarily puts women at a vulnerable position mentioning that many parts of the country are currently experiencing armed conflicts between the military and armed civilians and thus the need to empower women considering they are targets and most vulnerable in such situations. To this effect Christian emphasized the need to build the capacity of female activist as they go about their activity.
Participant Njoya Beatrice expressed satisfaction with the training articulating that ‘I use to have fear on how to successfully tackle the ills but I have learned much’. Njoya went on to say she was particularly interested on the facts that she had to consider her security first, investigating facts properly using digital and social media accompanied by being prepared to carry out the works of an activist. Adding his voice to Njoya’s the South West Regional Delegate of Islamic studies Matonga Hamza said it was a wonderful workshop appreciating the efforts of LUKMEF and Urgent Action Funds for Africa for the laudable initiative highlighting the security measures as very imperative for activists.
At the end of the day participants vowed to protect their colleagues in the interiors and ensure complete collaboration in the execution of their duties.