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OCHA Cameroon concerned about growing misinformation and fake news about humanitarian actors

Misinformation has been adding fuel to the flame of the armed conflict in Cameroon, now it is taking a heavy toll on humanitarian workers and organisations in Cameroon.

Some Cameroonians have been using social media, mostly twitter and Facebook to disseminate fake news and spread propaganda.

All of these impede aid workers from providing assistance to those affected by the war in the English Speaking regions of Cameroon.

In a Communique, the head of the sub- office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) in Buea, James Nunan said the organisation is deeply concerned by the growing amount of misinformation and fake news circulating about humanitarian actors in the UN Humanitarian Country Team in the NW and SW regions of Cameroon.

“The work of humanitarian organizations is focused on responding to the urgent and live saving needs of populations, for example through food assistance, healthcare and shelter provision,” Nunan explained.

The release equally emphasizes OCHA’s commitment to the humanitarian principles and calls on all parties to respect the neutrality of humanitarian response.

“The work of humanitarian organizations is guided by humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity and independence,” Nunan said in the statement.

“In the implementation of their mandate, humanitarian organizations are completely apolitical, as such they are not involved in any political activity or in any activity related to the organization of elections,” he added.

On Sunday, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon, Ms. Allegra Baiocchi, condemned the killing of an aid worker in north-west Cameroon.

On 30 November, Mr. Pascal Ngwayi, of COMINSUD, a local NGO and UN partner, was abducted and later killed by armed men in Donga Mantung Division of the North West Region.

At the time of his abduction, Mr. Ngwayi was carrying out a humanitarian assessment to ensure people in need received timely and appropriate support.

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