Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is withdrawing from Southern Cameroons after failing to reach an agreement with the Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo regime following eight months of suspension despite extensive negotiations.
The announcement of MSF’s withdrawal was made public Tuesday, August 3, 2021, through a statement by Emmanuel Lampaert coordinator of MSF operations in Central Africa.
“We therefore have no choice but to withdraw our teams. However, we will keep a small liaison office in Bamenda, the regional capital, to continue the dialogue with the authorities,” he said.
It was in December 2020 that the international NGO was suspended from all activities in Southern Cameroons on a lame and ridiculous reason that its physicians were helping Ambazonia Restoration Forces.
Hardliners in the regime including Defense Minister Beti Assomo and Territorial Administration Minister Paul Atanga Nji accused the NGO of collaborating with the Southern Cameroons Interim Government and Southern Cameroons Self Defense Forces and also of treating wounded Ambazonians in the name of international humanitarian law.
The Biya French Cameroun conman Paul Atanga Nji wanted by the Special Criminal Court in Yaoundé even said in a press conference in Yaoundé that weapons and ammunition were found in MSF ambulances.
Last May, MSF’s CEO visited Yaoundé and was received by the Minister of External Relations, the Minister of Defense and Paul Atanga Nji of Territorial administration.
After discussions with LeJeune Mbella Mbella (Minrex) Joseph Beti Assomo (Mindef) and Paul Atanga Nji (Minat), no compromise was reached.
According to Doctors Without Borders, the Biya regime officials want the NGO to act as an “intelligence agency and to report to Yaoundé every location where injured Ambazonia fighters are being treated.”
The Beti Ewondo gang opposed the requirements of international humanitarian law, specifically the Vienna Convention, which sets out the principles of neutrality and independence of NGOs.
MSF has been providing emergency medical care and free ambulance service in Southern Cameroons since 2018.The NGO says that since its suspension, several children have died for lack of medicine, due to the lack of means to get to hospitals.
By Fon Lawrence