Why Exemplify Rwanda’s Successful Peace building
In the wake of the 1994 civil war, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) sort state building through a heavy reliance on its peace building process, particularly in civilian peace building, conflict prevention peace building and prevention of violent relapse, even though the GoR highlighted all these processes within a larger context of its development strategy known as Vision 2020.
The central role played by the GoR in directing these peace building processes is one main reason for its success, alongside other successful development trajectory, as it enabled more donor funding to achieve highlighted peace building targets.
This implicitly means, if Cameroon follows the strategy of Rwanda, then, a lot more donor funding may fall in.
This article proposes a carbon copy of the GoR’s peace building strategy, however ensuring modifications be made to fit the Cameroon specific country context.
If one assumes that effective peace building spending leads to a reduction in violence, and if Rwanda is illustrative of the levels of peace building required to reduce violent conflict, then, one can comfortably conclude that the levels of peace building expenditure in Cameroon is insufficient.
This insufficiency in preventative peace building consequentially reduces the possibility of violence reduction in the Anglophone Regions, specifically, and elsewhere, build peace and ensure a non-relapse in the conflict again.
Even more intriguing of the Rwanda’s peace building process is that it provides a real world example over a suitable period, of how peace building assistance was assigned to different domains and categories. More fascinating is that, considering Rwanda as a prominent example of successful peace building and looking at the cost of peace building in Rwanda, it can serve as the basis for estimating the cost of future peace building efforts in Cameroon.
Priority Arears For Peace building In Cameroon
However, inexhaustible, three core domains to establish a successful peace building are proposed here. There are basic safety and security, inclusive political processes and core government functions.
For brevity purposes, this article may not expatiate on all percentages of expenditures in various domains, as this varies within country specific needs. In the basic safety and security area, Rwanda peace building paid closed attention to the reintegration and small arms and light weapons control through the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programme, which contributed greatly to security and stability in the post-conflict environment so that recovery and development can begin.
This brings to mind the recently created National Committee on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, CNDDR/NDDRC.
Records of the failure of such ‘supposed peace building’ efforts are evident even prior to its function. Why so? Simply because such commissions effectively fit in a larger context of peace building, contrary to political opinions, which perceive it as an exclusive solution in itself.
It is a politically wise creation but with socially misplaced functions and timing. Other peace building programmes stemming from the safety and security area were; legal and judicial development, and public sector policy and administrative management.
In the inclusive political process domain, peace building expenditures went into the legal and development category, democratic participation and civil society category, as well as civilian peace building, conflict prevention and resolution category. For example, in the legal and judicial category, the peace building programme created the Rwanda National Court System and the Gacaca courts.
Lastly, in the core government functions domain, the top five highest peacebuilding expenditure went in public sector policy and administrative management like the Rwanda Vision 2020, public finance management like the Rwanda MINECOFIN established in March 1997, legal and judicial development, decentralisation and support to subnational governments and democratic participation and civil society categories.
It is imperative for the GoC to commence complex consultations to draft a cost-effective peacebuilding plan, consistent with the specific context of the Anglophone Crisis. Whatever the peacebuilding programmes, they should be consistent with other development strategies taking into consideration the availability of resources, given the projected gloomy economic outlook for 2019 and beyond, when the crisis persist into a civil war.
Given the looming civil war scenario in Cameroon, a preventative peacebuilding can be a sustainable solution. Already justified by its cost-effectiveness, the peace dividends that can accrue could regenerate several multiplier effects in the event of a re-investment in economic activities. According to the writer’s analysis based on research, peacebuilding interventions can save up to 65 percent of the cost of violent conflicts, if such interventions are successful, as was the case of Rwanda.
These fore-warnings and projections, if taken into consideration, can benefit the nation as a whole, rather than for the country to wait for violence intensifications to suffer ultimately the economic weight of the cost and impact of violence.
As could be seen, Cameroon is at very high risk of further violence escalation, which may spread across other regions and groups, given the high rate of political instability and complexities, and anticipated civilian agitations.
If these risks are not neutralised with feasible preventative peacebuilding programmes, then, the advent of an upcoming civil war is the verdict, or for the very least, an intensification of the current levels of violence.
While the clock ticks towards that doomsday, the country will be plunged into a violent vicious cycle, with lower levels of economic activities, leading to loss of jobs (higher unemployment). This, in itself, increases lower interdependence among population groups, as incentives to maintain peace and harmony becomes minimal. The after effect of such vicious cycles slows down growth and breaks the positive cyclical relationship between peace and a buoyant economy.
Even more intriguing is Cameroon’s slow entrance into a conflict trap, whereby the impact of the Anglophone Crisis further increases some of the risk factors of other social conflicts.
This means that, low socio-economic development in Cameroon can support the conditions for other related social violence and conflict, as it is a consequence of violence and conflict notwithstanding.
In all, the holistic art of peace-building processes can change the course of things; but until then, the clock keeps ticking…