The Yaounde government is coming under enormous pressure. The regime that once said the form of the state was non-negotiable, is today contemplating building a federal system for the country.
The country’s Prime Minister recently indicated that the president wanted to dialogue, but would not dialogue with separatists. This position is gradually changing as the international community mounts more pressure.
The government is gradually cracking and Americans are not relenting. The government dissolving resolve can be clearing noticed as government ministers keep on contradicting each other.
Speaking on Friday, May 17 on France 24, the country’s territorial administration minister, Atanga Nji, an ex-convict, said that the president was ready and willing to dialogue with separatists. A significant shift in the government’s rhetoric.
A shift that is being welcome across the world, though many observers are still skeptical about the regime. They hold that the government must put forth a clear agenda, adding that there must be a mediator and the genuine inclusive dialogue must be held out of the country for the Diaspora and civil society to fully participate.
But before this happens, the Biya regime must change its ways. The Yaounde government must submit itself to international scrutiny.
Stopping human rights groups from coming into the country does not give the nation a good name. The International Crisis Group has been banned in Cameroon as the rights group has been very critical of the dictatorial regime.
A Human Rights Watch representative was recently refused entry into the country. Amnesty International is not given free and unfettered access to the two English-speaking regions of the country for it to document atrocities.
The government must understand that these organizations have the resources and means to conduct open source investigation to obtain the facts they need. What is the government hiding that it does not want the international community to know?
The government’s dishonesty and refusal to hold a truly genuine dialogue on the Southern Cameroons crisis has put the country in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
The Southern Cameroons Diaspora has done a good job at courting the international community and the fruits are there. Americans have embraced the cause and they are doing all they can to rally other countries to the cause.
The Americans and Canadians are pouring enormous pressure on the government. America does not want to break up the country, but it is clear when it comes to what it wants.
The US wants a federal system for Cameroon and Tibor Nagy, the American undersecretary for African Affairs, is promoting this idea and the American society has bought the idea hook, line and sinker.
This has also been the Canadian idea since the conflict started some three years ago and the Canadian government is not wavering on this.
It has the experience of dealing with minorities and can help Cameroon build a solid federal system that will make the Central African nation one of the best countries in the world.
Southern Cameroonians might have lost loved ones and homes, but they must work with the Americans to address those issues that have triggered this unfortunate situation.
Extremism in this case will be foolish. America and Canada are great allies. Do not alienate them. The Diaspora that has so far done a great job can now start sensitizing the fighters on the ground regarding the American, Canadian and UN positions.
The real work has just started and all Southern Cameroonians must make their contribution.
Dr Arrey Joachim