By Njodzeka Danhatu
Some US and British law makers – including the Former US Secretary of State for African Affairs – have again called for sincere dialogue to resolve the on-going war in Anglophone Cameroon saying military option cannot work.
This was on October 1 during which people in some villages and towns in the Northwest and Southwest regions commemorated their “Independence”. The day marked the end of British Administration in Anglophone Cameroon.
According to Senator Jim Risch – US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member and a Lawyer and Politician from Idaho – the US Secretary of State for African Affairs should prioritise the Anglophone Crisis.
“Today marks five years of the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon,” the senator twitted, adding, “I encourage newly confirmed Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Phee, to prioritise this issue, per the recommendations of my bipartisan resolution, S.RES.684, to end the violence & work toward an end to the conflict”.
The same call to see an end to the conflict was equally echoed by British Parliamentarian, Emily Thornberry, Labour Party MP from Islington South and Finsbury in London, and also a Shadow International Trade Secretary.
The MP tweeted: “Today marks 60 years since Southern Cameroon passed from British control into a troubled union with its French neighbour.”
She furthered that, “There is much about the UK’s current policy on Cameroon that I have argued must change, but for now, I simply hope that today’s anniversary passes peacefully.”
The MP’s outing has been received with lots of jubilation from people who believed she has acknowledged the independence of Ambazonia, a new name by which separatists call the two English-speaking regions.
Another person who equally ridiculed Cameroon on October 1 was Tibor Nargy, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa; US Ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia; Vice Provost for International Affairs at Texas Tech University.
He said, by continuing the war, France is helping Cameroon to be defeated.
“Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis is five years old – but the fundamental problem goes back to colonialism. Can’t understand why France doesn’t see its long term interest is in helping the Anglophones gain their rights rather than supporting Yaoundé’s scorched earth policy which can’t win!” he said.
Although Buea and Bamenda, Capitals of Southwest and Northwest Regions respectively, were under lockdown, celebrations took place in the interiors to mark 60 years since Britain Surrender its own part of Cameroon, simultaneously refers to as Southern Cameroon, West Cameroon, or British Southern Cameroon.
The celebrations were done by people who strongly believed they are fighting for the restoration of the “Federal Republic of Ambazonia” with thousands on the streets of some localities across the regions.
Speeches were read by various self-styled separatist “Generals” in Bafut, Batibo, Bui, Fako and Boyo.
In some of their songs, they were channelling a message to Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya.
“Go to Yaounde and tell Paul Biya to let Sisiku go,” they enchanted.
It was unclear whom they were talking to, but it remains a fact that Separatist leader, Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, and his Cabinet Ministers are still being detained at the Yaounde Principal Prison.
After they were arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon, a military court slammed them life prison sentences in 2019.
Many are calling for their liberation as a prerequisite for concrete and sincere dialogue. It is already five years since the crisis started, and later escalated. Thousands of people have perished and enormous property destroyed with millions displace.