South-South Cooperation: Colombia partners with Cameroon, others to ameliorate peace building process

Officials at the opening ceremony 

Colombia in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Centre in Cameroon (NDDRC), and some neighbouring countries like the Republic of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Phillipines have come together to share knowledge on how to ameliorate the process of peace building in their respective countries by capitalizing on lessons learned from the experience of Colombia.

The official launching ceremony of the project which falls under the South-South cooperation took place Friday April 19, 2024 in Yaounde and was chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of External Relations, H.E Chinmoun Oumar.

The event was equally attended by Minister Delegate to the Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Jean De Dieu Momo and was also attended by members of various diplomatic corps from Columbia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Participants pose for a family picture 

The conception and implementation of the South-South program which aims at sharing good practices and lessons learned by Colombia in the process of consolidation of peace is fostered by L’Agence Presidentiel pour la Cooperation (APC Colombie) with the expertise of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The Colombian Delegation was headed by the Director General of Colombia Presidential Agency of International Cooperation, Eleonora Betancur Gonzales.

Chairing the opening ceremony, H.E Chinmoun Oumar highlighted that Colombia being an ardent promoter of peace, opening up the program was not only evident in its role of mediator in relations with neighbouring countries but also that of strategic partnerships. The relations he said were with the world and most especially Africa, “a continent which shares with Colombia a memorable and cultural heritage through its people of Africa”.

“This program lays the foundation of a share-based cooperation between our countries. It was in 2021 that the government embarked on strengthening cooperation and strategic partnership between the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and the Committee for the cooperation and normalization of Colombia to learn and benefit from good practices of Colombia in the field of conflict resolution and peace consolidation,” H.E Oumar said.

The administrator equally explained that with the support of the IOM, the NDDRC carried out several working visits to Colombia in 2022 and 2023 with the most recent which took place in August 2023 thus enabling the NDDRC coordinator to meet high-level government officials of Colombia to express the desire to understand the peacebuilding process of Colombia.

The cooperation it should be said will permit Cameroon to learn from the experience of Colombia and its peacebuilding process. 

“In this vain, the government of the Republic of Cameroon commends the generosity of the Republic of Colombia as a friendly country and as the fervent hope that the strengthening of the cooperation with the NDDRC in many other areas in the future will be very successful,” said H.E Oumar.

Fai Yengo Francis 

The National Coordinator of the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Committee, Fai Yengo Francis on his part pointed out that Colombia had gone through above 50 years of conflict, “so they have the experience and we invited them here they did not only come here today to see the DDR but they have kick-started the South-South Cooperation between four African countries that are here today”.

Fai Yengo equally said he hoped that relations with the NDDRC should increase and intensify, he added that “we expect that the relations between Colombia and Cameroon should be developed and we expect that these exchanges and experiences should extend to other countries that are not here today because what we are searching for is development, networking of cooperations and global peace for everybody and I think this is one of the ways through which we can achieve this”.

Ambassador Mairo Musa Abbas of the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Nigeria talking to the press called on other stakeholders to join in the process as she said “we must also engage our international partners to give appropriate support to enable us to address this issues”

      South-South Cooperation

The program has been put in place to satisfy the demands and interest shown by Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and the Philippines to understand the architectural institutional network piloting a veritable sustainable peace process in Colombia.

The sessions featured the conception of programs for the consolidation of peace in Africa, the sharing of good practices and community experiences in the consolidation of peace as well as the implementation of a plan of action in each country by taking into consideration its socio-economic adaptability to the Colombian experience.

The collaborative approach between Colombia and the African countries focuses on reinforcing the institutional capacity of each participating country to foster their national processes for the consolidation of peace. Meanwhile, the collaboration between governments remains a fundamental pillar to tackle the complexity of conflicts and promote positive changes in affected communities.


Bizel-Bi Mafor

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