Ambazonia: IG’s Press Statement on Humanitarian Dialogue Facilitated Talks/Negotiations in Switzerland
Since September 22, 2017, our communities have been subjected to some of the most ruthless and systematic assaults the international community have witnessed anywhere in recent history. Initiated to suppress peaceful demonstrations for fundamental rights.
Today we have more than 2000 of our fellow citizens killed, more than 80,000 in refugee camps in Nigeria and the UN reports more than 4.3 million of our people are affected by the conflict. A situation the UN described as one of the fastest growing human displacement crises in Africa.
This is no sports. That anyone should go show up somewhere and provide the lobbyist of Cameroon with signature and documents so they can derail efforts by serious countries like the US to get our case as a standalone Item on the Agenda of the UN Security Council is not just shameful but treasonous.
It is because of the importance of the situation that we questioned the seriousness of the Switzerland based Humanitarian Dialogue when they ignored the questions we sent to them in reply to their invitation for the said meeting.
So let me be as clear as I can on this. NO I did not attend this meeting with Humanitarian Dialogue. And, no one from my team and our leadership behind bars led by President Sisiku AyukTabe attended that meeting. We had no representative there. Let me repeat this again. The one thing that we learnt from the Anti-apartheid struggle is that leadership behind bars is the sole target of any honest effort at negotiation.
The Cameroun government has thus far refused to do the bare minimum required for confident building towards any real negotiations. Which is: 1. To stop violating the inalienable rights of the people you hope to negotiate with; and 2. To allow an international independent Fact Finding Mission to establish the facts on the ground and to stop the killings.
We have heard the calls for dialogue without preconditions. These are not preconditions. They are trust building mechanisms we have seen deployed in most conflicts in the past several decades with relative success in reducing tensions, from East Timor, Sri lanka to Myanmar.
What does it mean to tell us to go into some room to have Talks/Negotiations with a Cameroun regime which has twice refused the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human rights access to investigate credible reports of international crimes?
What does it mean to tell us to go and have Talks/Negotiations with a Cameroun regime that continues to slaughter our people as we speak?
If Humanitarian Dialogue is serious about facilitating Talks/Negotiations and the Swiss government is serious let them tell Cameroun to Stop the killings, release all our political prisoners, who are being held in violation of their fundamental human rights, allow an independent international fact finding mission to establish the facts on the ground like in all other recent conflicts. But more importantly Humanitarian Talks/Negotiations should go to Kondengui prison and discuss with our leaders there about their plans for dialogue.
Again these are not preconditions. They are confidence building procedure. I will say this though. As far as this struggle is concerned.
It shall be Total Independence or Resistance Forever.
Dabney Yerima Vice President
– Federal Republic of Ambazonia