Sunday, December 22, 2019

Special status: secessionists camp on their position

A law adopted by the deputies provides a special statute for the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon. But this meets the dissatisfaction of the separatists. The conflict has already claimed more than 3,000 lives.

If the bill is approved by the Senate, the two English-speaking regions in crisis in Cameroon will now be authorized to develop public policies, particularly in the fields of education and justice. 

However, this recommendation is considered to be far below the expectations of the federalists (more moderate) and those of the separatists. They reject the bill and claim to remain on their starting position, that is to say, the achievement of independence and the proclamation of a new state, Ambazonia. 

"We do not accept special status", reacts Dabney Yerima, vice-president of the fictitious state of Ambazonia for whom the president "Paul Biya has no right to claim to grant us special status. We are in the process of to fight for our independence and that's it or nothing. The special status is a game of the Republic of Cameroon. We do not accept this and we intend to fight against Yaoundé. The war will continue until we get our independence ". 

Heavy toll 

At the end of 2017, a part of the separatists took up arms. Since then, fighting has continued between the national army and these armed groups. More than 700,000 people have had to flee their homes, according to figures regularly published by human rights organizations

Even if he has reservations about the text adopted by the deputies, political scientist Joseph Owona believes that "as long as the situation on the ground is not brought under control, this will be extremely problematic. Cameroonians should each their respective levels work to ensure that the content of this special statute is implemented ". The expert also wants "that this special status allows order to be restored gradually and permanently and that life resumes its course" because "it is urgent", he warns. 

Officials of the fictitious state of Ambazonia say they want a return to peace but on one condition. 

"The only thing Paul Biya can do," suggests Dabney Yerima, vice president of the fictitious state of Ambazonia, "is to come to the dialogue table with us to talk about the future of the country." 

"But if he refuses, we will continue to resist," he insists. 

Legislative elections are to be held in Cameroon in February 2020, but the two main opposition parties (MRC and SDF) have announced their intention to boycott the poll, which has been made little credible in their eyes due to the fighting in these two regions.