As the Cameroon government of 36 year President Paul Biya slaughters civilians in the Anglophone regions as well as in the North, it has re-engaged Washington lobbying firm Patton Boggs, on a retainer of $100,000 per quarters plus expenses, documents show. This means that the July 11 meeting with Cameroonian ministers bragged about by this month’s UN Security Council president, Karen Pierce of the UK, was actually in connection with a lobbying trip stage managed by Patton Boggs.
The Southern Cameroons crisis that has given the country a bad name is gradually getting into a critical phase. The country’s minister of territorial administration is not displaying the maturity leadership imposes on people. He is still talking tough and this is hurting any chances for peace.
If talking tough could address many issues, the Southern Cameroons crisis that has given the country a very bad name, could have been addressed. As the situation deteriorates, it will be wise for both parties to keep it low. Tough language has never really resolved any issue, but people like Atanga Nji are yet to understand that. Words are like bullets. Once they are out of the mouth, they cannot be recalled and they have the potential to ruin any efforts at bringing back peace to a people.
Atanga Nji displayed this primitive tendency a few days ago while receiving some Fako chiefs who had been released by Southern Cameroonian fighters after protracted negotiations. For Atanga Nji, the country’s territorial administration minister, who received the chiefs in Yaounde, he used the occasion to provoke Southern Cameroonian fighters.
He promised tracking down all the fighters who are in the jungle, adding that they and their progeny would be made to pay for their crimes if they did not come out of the jungle that has been serving as a five-star hotel to them and a green jail to all those arrested.
Mr. Atanga Nji who is not a respected minister in Cameroon, failed to understand that if it was easy to arrest the fighters in the thick equatorial jungle of the Southwest region, that would have been done a long time ago. His constant use of unfriendly language has unfortunately led to the killing of many uniformed officers.
Over the last few days, not less than 8 uniformed officers have been killed in Southern Cameroons and this has resulted in renewed violence, with the ordinary civilian suffering for something he knows nothing about.
Mr. Atanga Nji and his Yaounde masters should figure out that there will never be a total military solution to this issue. Southern Cameroonians are determined to stay the course, and only genuine and sincere dialogue will stop tempers from flaring.
Camcordnews Desk with files from Inner Press