The UN Security Council will hold a first informal meeting on Cameroon this month to discuss a worsening humanitarian crisis that has left three million people struggling for food.
The United States is organizing the May 13 meeting after persuading African countries on the council to drop their initial reluctance to talks on the two-year separatist conflict in Cameroon’s west.
South Africa, a non-permanent council member, had expressed reservations, arguing that the African Union was leading the international response to the crisis, according to diplomats.
“It’s long past time for the Security Council to address what’s going on in Cameroon, where we’re seeing a devastating humanitarian crisis,” a spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations said Saturday.
“We hope this meeting will draw more attention to this disaster and encourage a more robust regional and international response by member states, the UN, and civil society in order to prevent the situation from deteriorating even further.”
Cameroon is wracked by a conflict between separatists and government forces in its English-speaking west, combined with an influx of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria.
More than one in six people in Cameroon — 4.3 million — need humanitarian aid, an increase of 30 percent from 2018, according to UN aid officials.
The meeting will have a particular focus on the separatist conflict, according to a note sent by the US to the council on Friday and seen by AFP.
More than 560,000 people have been driven from their homes since 2017 including 32,000 who have fled to Nigeria, the note said.