CAMP's Executive Director Speaks on Fight Against Hatespeech In Douala Forum

The Regional Forum for sensitization and capacity building of the media and communication regulatory bodies on the prevention of conflicts linked to hate speech and the fight against this phenomenon in Central Africa is holding at a time when part of Cameroon are hard hit by armed conflicts.

Holding in Douala on October 26th 2021 in Douala, the Executive Director of the Cameroonian Association of Media Professionals, Tarhyang Enowbikah Tabe, on behalf of his colleagues, wished other participants from other countries of the Economic Community of the States of the Central Africa (ECCAS) a fruitful stay.

He underlined with importance of the Douala Forum, adding that it is being organized at a time when hatred pollutes the content of most media in the sub-region as well as social networks.

Opening the proceedings, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Central Africa and Head of UNOCA, François Louncény Fall, regretted the inflation of words of hatred in the media of information and communication massive.

He recalled the harmful role played by the media in the crises in Central Africa, in particular the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994 with the infamous Radio-television libre des Mille Collines and the newspaper Kangura, which fueled the hatred against Tutsis and moderate Hutus and incited to their extermination.

François Louncény Fall painted a grim picture of the situation, in particular in states in the grip of armed conflicts, various crises or tense electoral processes.

Based on specific cases, he observed that hate speech pervades all countries of Central Africa, and is used as a weapon by many protagonists.

“Hatred delays the march […] towards development, including the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, by inciting the violation of human rights and by promoting exclusion and discrimination against certain categories of your populations, thus creating the conditions conducive to the outbreak or aggravation of crises and conflicts". he lamented.

Calling on all press organs to show responsibility in the face of these issues. “The media can prevent and combat hate speech simply by doing their job within the rules of their noble art: that is, seeking, cross-checking, and verifying information before making it public. Because hatred often feeds on erroneous, sometimes even falsified, information".

The inaugural lecture by Professor Charly Gabriel Mbock (Anthropologist) reinforced these approaches and challenged journalists more on their crucial role in the fight against hate speech and the promotion of peace.

Several other interventions on the issues of freedom of expression and the intelligent management of social networks enriched the debates, including those of Professor Ngange Lyonge Kingsley (Head of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Buea) and Baba Wame.

Baba Same is Teacher at the Higher School of Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies (ESSTIC) and Deputy Director in charge of multimedia networks and applications at the Ministry of Communication (MINCOM).

Experts from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also moderated specific sessions related, among others. to the process of production of hate speech, legal instrumentsn the prevention and suppression of hate speech.

By Bamenjo Petronila


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