Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Sociopolitical crisis: how far can Paul Biya go into forgiveness?

The head of state calls for a cross on the past and look to the future after declaring war on secessionists.

By sending his Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, in the North West last week and in the Southwest yesterday, to tell the people, traditional leaders and leaders of political parties and civil society that he was now ready to open a "formal dialogue" in the perspective of a return to the country in the North West and South West, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, has completely changed his approach in the resolution of the anglophone crisis.

Even if the contours of this dialogue are not yet known, there is every reason to believe that instead of the rigor of the law and the determination of the defense and security forces promised to the secessionists in his inaugural speech, November 06, 2018 and even before, the position of the Head of State has evolved to a peaceful solution. Shortly before the chief of government's trip to the English-speaking regions, he began to set the stage for such a turnaround.

"The important thing today is to forgive and forget, to strive together towards a common goal. We can not, at the same time, look to the future and live in the past.Mutual forgiveness is the path to lasting peace, "he wrote on twitter on May 7."Forget our resentment, our dissensions, our divisions. Let us remain committed to our ideal of unity and look to the future with confidence. It is on this condition that we can live in peace, "he continued in another tweet on May 11. It is not Paul Biya's habit to keep a low profile, but by this option - taken under external pressure, of course - he is seeking to put an end to the intolerable massacres that have lasted for three years. According to figures from the International Crisis Group (ICG), contained in its latest report, the Anglophone crisis has, during the last 20 months, 1850 deaths, 530,000 internally displaced, more than 160,000 refugees on the Nigerian side, etc. To materialize his pardon, the head of state could, from credible sources, grant pardon and order the arrest of prosecutions against English-speaking leaders in the coming days.

A perspective that was not possible a few months ago. In fact, many argue that the heavy balance sheet previously mentioned partly reflects the failure of the armed option taken from the outset by the government to calm these tensions.However, is it possible that this pardon is limitless, at the risk of allowing a feeling of impunity to flourish after so many atrocities? The President of the Republic is now open to discuss on all topics, except secession. Now remains the equation of radicals such as Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, incarcerated for two years with the 47 members of his government, Mancho Bibixy, etc., who want to hear about nothing but separation.

Among the moderates who lean towards federalism, on the other hand, the discourse of forgiveness passes more easily. "In order to speak of forgiveness, it is necessary that the various parties concerned by the tensions or by the evil that has been made recognize it. On the one hand, there is recognition of the wrongs, and on the other there is a willingness on the part of others to accept what is brought in terms of reparation in order to get rid of the tension that has taken place. place. It is therefore necessarily a work that requires that each of his side put water in his wine, so as to meet and put in a logic of reconciliation, "analyzes the sociopolitical Claude Abe.

"In a more global context, and with the aim of also getting out of the climate of political depression, could the envisaged national forgiveness extend to the leaders and militants of the Movement for the rebirth of Cameroon (Mrc) incarcerated for three months? We can not deal with both issues at the same time. From my point of view, it is not sure that the situation of the Mrc is a political situation. We will have to clarify things on that. The problem that Cameroon currently has is a problem of reconciliation with the English side. We can not house the two problems in the same sign, if it is a problem for Mrc, "said the academic.

Source: Mutations No. 4856