After the Toronto retreat, which received the approval of millions of Cameroonians, especially Southern Cameroonians in their majority, there are already discussions on the next retreat which will hold in Dublin, Ireland.
According to a source close to the organizers, Dublin has been chosen to be the next venue of the next retreat because of its location and membership of the European Union and the seat of Greenclee which brokered the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland which ended the IRA military action in the country.
Currently, negotiations are underway to ensure that all factions get represented at the retreat which will help the different factions to further narrow their differences so as to deal with the Yaounde government which organizers sayp must demonstrate good faith and must immediately engage in confidence-building endeavors.
Among the endeavors organizers say will reduce mistrust and set the country to the path to recovery are:
– the release of all those arrested within the framework of all those arrested and are being held in jails across the country;
– the engagement of talks with the leaders of the revolution who are currently in jail in Yaounde;
-the gradual withdrawal of soldiers from areas considered to be safe;
-the approval of dual nationality; and
-the granting of a general amnesty to all those who have been directly or indirectly involved in the struggle.
It is believed that these confidence-building measures could defuse tensions and improve the atmosphere which will make it possible for even extremist groups to participate in future talks whose agenda should include secession.
However, opponents of secession hold that no country will willingly let any group or groups to walk away from the country as such a move could trigger a movement that might cause the country to implode.
But proponents of federalism hold that the onus is on the government to demonstrate good faith and convince separatists that the country could still be federally united through significant reforms that may lay the hyper-centralized system to rest.
The organizers of the retreat are open to all ideas and they hold that only talks and negotiations can help the country to find a sustainable solution that will bring peace to the entire sub-region.
A source close to the Presidency has told the Cameroon Concord News Group that there is a huge appetite for peace within government circles, as the country’s leaders are scared that the prolonged fighting might disintegrate a union which initially seemed to have been made in Heaven.
The use of both English and French in Cameroon has given the country a unique position on the African continent, but bad faith and greed have made this rich cultural asset to look more like an apple of discord whereas, originally, it was designed to make the country the apple of all eyes.
As the conflict prolongs, the number of casualties has continued to rise steadily. Many explosions have been going off in many parts of Southern Cameroons and this is spreading dead and destruction across the two English-speaking regions of the country.
Yesterday in Buea, two explosions went off, with one going off in the University of Buea, resulting in eleven students being injured. Those injured are currently in hospitals in Buea and are reported to be in stable condition.
Speaking to journalists in Buea on Wednesday after the explosion went off, the university’s vice chancellor, Prof. Horace Ngomo Manga, expressed his disappointment with the situation, underscoring that it was unfortunate that some terrorists could bring their terror to a university campus where young students only want to acquire knowledge to serve the country in the future.
He pointed out that university authorities were not in the know of those who had committed such a heinous act, stressing that there would be investigations to determine those responsible for the crime.
He added that security within the university would be beefed up, stressing that school resumption and other activities would continue regardless of attempts by terrorists to strike fear in the minds of staff and students.
It should be recalled that over the last three months, many soldiers and a few civilians have been killed through the use improvised explosive devices (IEDs); a situation which has caused the government to rethink its military strategy.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai in the UK and Joachim Arrey in Canada