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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ambazonia: Biya's DDR operation scheduled to fail

According to the famous Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona: "If we explain to you Cameroon and you understand, it is because we did not explain you well". Why remember this innocuous fact? Because he is not. In reality, this aphorism rightly reflects what Cameroon's current governance is. The example was once again given on November 30, 2018.

That day, Paul Biya signed a decree (No. 2018/719) creating the National Committee on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration. Article 2 of the Decree stipulates, inter alia, that the CNDDR is responsible for "organizing, supervising and managing the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former Boko-Haram combatants and armed groups in the north-west". and the Southwest wishing to respond favorably to the offer of peace of the Head of State by laying down his arms".

As laudable and ambitious as it may be at first glance, this initiative sins by its premature nature and the political malice that accompanies it. Which in relation to the Anglophone crisis effectively condemns it to a bitter failure.

The DDR: What is the name?

There is no standard and canonical definition of DDR. And for good reason!This conflict has its own specificities. Conflict resolution mechanisms must each time take into account the specificities of each conflict or war situation. In this context, a DDR approach must be of a sufficiently flexible and agile nature to claim to respond effectively to its mission. Given this pragmatic and necessary approach, however, the UN stresses that there are at least four prerequisites (common and invariable) without which there can be no DDR.

a) The signing of a peace agreement

The signing of a peace agreement between the belligerents is one of the essential conditions to be fulfilled before embarking on a DDR process.

b) Stakeholder confidence in the peace process

While stakeholder confidence is difficult to assess, it remains a prerequisite for the success of DDR. As the UN points out: "Lack of trust is delaying DDR and the absence of DDR only increases the mistrust of the parties to the peace process. "

c) The willingness of the actors to participate in DDR

The political will of the various actors to collectively undertake the DDR approach is the other necessary precondition for the success of the process.

d) Minimum security guarantees

In the absence of minimum security guarantees, it may be difficult to encourage belligerents to abandon their weapons.

The art of being off-topic

As we have just shown, the DDR process must be preceded by a duly negotiated peace agreement. The prior agreement between the parties provides a legal framework (foundation and robustness) for DDR. To reverse this precedence is to put the cart before the horse; it is plowing the shifting sands of the war, hoping to reap the hypothetical fruits of peace. If not, how can one disarm people to whom all sorts of hidden agendas are indistinctly lent? How can we disarm people to whom we have never deigned to address a word other than contemptuous and condescending? Peace can not be decreed. It is not necessary. It is deeply rooted in social justice and sincere and respectful dialogue.

Although the military response to the Boko-haram sect was highly justified, it is unjustified, counter-productive and untimely as a solution to the Anglophone crisis. It should be recalled that it is the government's repressive response to the social demands of 2016 that has served as a fountain of youth to federalists and formerly secessionist vultures. In this context, the art of being off-topic is to always do the same thing and expect a different result. A radical change of perspective is necessary and urgent. We can not plan to disarm without dialogue. It is a necessary and indispensable precondition. What is more, it will require much more than a multiplication of budget commissions and an incantatory appeal to national unity to re-enchant the sense of belonging to Cameroon. Time is running out ... But is he pressing for everyone? Let me doubt it.

In reality, the weakness of the institutional design of crisis exit as proposed by the Biya government is less amateurish than politicking malice. Doubtless, the strategists of the regime in place know that the Anglophone crisis has settled to last. They also know that Paul Biya is probably no longer part of the solution.Nevertheless, they want to save time and give the impression that the man of November 6th is still acting. More importantly, the Biya regime wants above all to regain control of news and initiative.In doing so, he hopes to move towards the "English-speaking part", the political and military consequences of a possible deterioration of the humanitarian situation.Hostile to any dialogue with the "Ambazonians", Paul Biya nevertheless wants to take on the figure of the architect of peace who faces the apostles of chaos.

In addition, the creation of the CNDDR testifies to what should be called "institutional dustiness". To illustrate my point, I will take the example of the anti-corruption policy. Despite the creation of several bodies responsible for curbing this scourge, it remains haunting and even endemic. The various instances created have at most allowed the regime to place some affid├ęs and give the feeling that it acts.

Mutatis mutandis, it is the same political technology that is used in the management of the Anglophone crisis.The institutional proliferation observed so far has not made it possible to halt the crossfire of arms, made-among other things-in the name of a nation that is no longer one, against a republic that is not one of them. . In fact, 02 years after the creation of the Commission on Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, what can we say? What is its impact in writing a new social contract?

Let's have the lucidity to look reality in the face. The anglophone crisis is nothing more than the trial of fifty years of francophone governance. In fact, the solution to the crisis can only be political. I insist. Administrative science and law can not succeed where politics has deliberately failed. Without real political will, sincere and respectful dialogue, the institutional framework will necessarily be infertile and ineffective. In the current state of the military and political situation, given the will of the newly appointed coordinator, the DDR process is programmed to fail.

Source: Christian Djoko