Saturday, October 13, 2018

War in Ambazonia: here is the solution all offered


"There is always a solution when people agree to sit together and discuss in good faith." With these words, Adama Dieng, UN Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide, commented on the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.

Francophone girl and English-speaking son from Cameroon, we met in the aftermath of our country's presidential election, to urge the new government and the English-speaking separatist leaders to urgently engage in a mediated dialogue to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. which cost the lives of hundreds of our brothers and sisters.

Anglophone Cameroonians in the northwestern and southwestern regions of the country have been discriminated against, marginalized, assimilated and persecuted by the majority Francophone population and the government. The current crisis, resulting from the events of late 2016, is like a bubbling saucepan overflowing with water for a long time.

The new Cameroonian government must respond to the demands of the English-speaking community because the way the outgoing government did it is bad. Killing hundreds of English-speaking Cameroonians, mistreating and raping women, setting fire to their villages is a most serious abomination that must be firmly condemned by all Cameroonians.

Likewise, the cause of the English-speaking community is right, but the way its representatives fight for it is not burning schools and attacking teachers and students is not right. Killing government soldiers is not fair. The law of retaliation is never right, and taking an eye for an eye will only make us all blind.

The Cameroonian president of the polls, and the English-speaking separatist leaders must follow the advice of Adama Dieng. The path to follow is simple. The most difficult thing is to find the courage to borrow it. Yet, in these difficult times, we must all find courage; there is no other way.

First, the winner of the presidential election must prevent government security forces from violently repressing civilians. It must demilitarize the English-speaking regions and order the police to respect the right of Cameroonians to express themselves and to assemble peacefully. Above all, it must guarantee that there will be no impunity for those who have committed acts of violence and atrocities.

Secondly, the elected president must begin his term by publicly committing to open a dialogue under mediation with the anglophone representatives to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis. It must allow representatives of the Anglophone diaspora to travel to Cameroon to participate in an English General Conference, as proposed by Cardinal Christian Tumi in late November.

Third, English-speaking leaders must commit to using non-violence to advocate for their cause. Diaspora representatives must order their supporters in Cameroon to stop attacking schools, villages and government forces.

Finally, in the aftermath of the presidential election, the international community must support the efforts for mediated dialogue in Cameroon. The United Nations must continue to support mediation, but it is with the United States and France that real progress can be made. France, whose ties with Cameroon date back to colonial times, must insist on the elected president to accept mediation efforts; the US government must put pressure on representatives of the Anglophone diaspora living on American soil to begin the dialogue.

We understand that the divisions of our country can not be cured overnight. In the aftermath of elections, it is only through an inclusive dialogue between Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonians that we will find that we have more in common than what divides us.


Source: jeuneafrique.com