Cameroon;

NCPBM at war with hate speech and xenophobia

By Fonban E. Lendzemo

Souvenir photo of Musonge, members of the commission and representatives of institutions
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The National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism (NCPBM) on Friday, 5 March 2021 organized a Press Conference at the Yaounde Conference Center to launch the new national communication campaign against hate speech and xenophobia.

This was presided over by the Commission’s President, Peter Mafany Musonge who was accompanied by Jean de Dieu Momo who is Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Justice, keeper of the seals as well as some representatives of government institutions and members of the Commission.

Giving a public message through media men and women present at the Press Conference, the President of the Commission said the campaign instructed by the President of the Republic, comes within the context characterized by the upsurge of hate speech and xenophobic publications via the media and social media networks.

“It should be recalled that, first and foremost, that hate speech is manifested in its written, oral or visual, by incitement to discrimination, harassment, threat or violence towards an individual or group, as a result of their origin, gender, tribe, ethnicity, race or religion” said Peter Mafany Musonge, President of the Commission.

In his statement, he pointed out that hate speech and xenophobia threaten national unity, living together, social cohesion, national integration, sustainable peace and social stability.

In an effort to understand how the commission is set to launch a battle against hate speech and xenophobia, Journalists from different media organs throw back questions to the Commission’s President after his statement.

Ojong Steven, Publisher of THE MEDIAN newspaper questioned Musonge how is Commission expects to win a war against hate speech whereas freedom of expression is a provision in Cameroon’s constitution. Other questions had to do with cooperation and collaboration with other organisations and movements that can possibly lead the battle against these threats.

“We are counting on civil society actors, journalists, mobile phone operators, the National Agency for Information Technologies (ANTIC), the Cameroon Human Rights Commission, the National Communication Council, the Telecommunications Regulatory Board…” said Musonge in his statement.

A three months plan of action has been designed to give the Commission the opportunity to attempt its best approach, to conquer hate speech and xenophophobic expressions in Cameroon.

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