Monday, June 3, 2019

Crisis In Anglophone Zone: Negotiations still at a standstill

A new attack would have made several dozen deaths late last week. Despite a record that is growing day by day, the national dialogue has not begun.

Forty houses were reportedly burned, tortured residents, cattle slaughtered and looted goods in northwestern Cameroon last week on the night of Thursday (30.05.2019) to Friday (31.05.2019). It happened more precisely in Upkwa, near Lake Nyos. The governor of the region, Adolphe Lele, accuses the English-speaking separatists. A charge that is not a first. Armed separatists and soldiers have accused each other of targeting civilians for several months.

Nearly 2000 dead

In the meantime, the toll of the victims of the conflict is increasing day by day and the national dialogue proposed by the government has not begun. In twenty months, the English crisis has made 1,850 deaths according to the International Crisis Group and forced more than 530,000 people to leave their homes.

"It's very hard because the first thing everyone is looking for is security, in the English speaking areas it's not going well, it's not easy to live there in the southwest and northwest. ", says a resident on condition of anonymity. "You get up in the morning, there are bodies everywhere, it's serious! To find food it's not easy, I tell you!" And to insist: "Cameroonians must reconcile themselves"

The power to act

A reconciliation that must therefore go through an inclusive dialogue, as proposed by the Cameroonian government. But since this announcement nothing concrete has been committed.The announcement was nevertheless welcomed, subject to a number of conditions, by Sissiku Ayuk Tabe, the self-proclaimed leader of the Republic of Ambazonia, imprisoned since January 2018.

So what to do today? "The solutions that must be explored is to bring all the factions closer together and to increase the gestures of appeasement on the side of power," said political analyst Joseph Léa Ngoul. It proposes, for example, the release of a large part of the prisoners arrested in the context of the English-speaking demonstrations and who are not involved in violent acts. "It is also the accompaniment of displaced families and now the government's willingness to engage in a genuine dialogue that addresses all issues."

The English-speaking separatists in Cameroon, a majority French-speaking country, campaign for the creation of an independent state in the North West and South West regions. They have taken up arms against Yaoundé since the end of 2017.