The clashes that erupted between Cameroon army soldiers and Ambazonia Restoration Forces has for the fourth year running not subsided as the French Cameroun head of state Paul Biya, worked to contain his worst internal crisis in his 37 years in power by placating the people of Southern Cameroons with the so-called Special Status.
Just a month after Biya told the world in Paris, France that French Cameroun’s diabolic harsh ploy to assimilate Southern Cameroonians have failed, his soldiers have continued to battle in the streets of Southern Cameroons with Ambazonian Restoration Forces who are making the territory ungovernable. Biya has been talking to the Southern Cameroonians in his regime and has painted the jailed leadership of the Ambazonia Interim Government as extremists and separatists.
But beneath that French Cameroun common ground with some pro Yaoundé CPDM Anglophone barons, a profound division remains between the French Cameroun surrogates such Prime Minister Dion Ngute and the Ambazonia Interim Government that presently has legitimate authority in Southern Cameroons.
Whereas Dr Dion Ngute and his cream of Anglophone CPDM leaders have embraced the special status solution that seems to offer Southern Cameroonians nothing new, the Ambazonia Interim Government is demanding the restoration of the independence of British Southern Cameroons. Mr. Biya and Dr Dion Ngute need the French government to realize their goal; the Ambazonia Interim Government regards the French government as a threat.
The fundamental disagreement over goals, layered with accumulated resentments, are, ultimately, the reason hundreds of Southern Cameroonians in the Republic of South Africa have urged the Ambazonia Vice President Dabney Yerima to endorse the creation of an Ambazonia National Army.
Both Yaoundé and the Ambazonia Interim Government now seemed alarmed by the fighting going on in Southern Cameroons which in some localities include Southern Cameroonians against Southern Cameroonians.
With international pressure mounting on the regime in Yaoundé and coming mainly from the United States, Mr. Biya and his inexperienced Beti Ewondo political elites appeared to be at a standoff — each afraid of the other, and each afraid of who is planning to use the Southern Cameroons crisis to replace Biya as head of state.
The nearly four years long conflict is entering an uncertain phase, as American pressure and Biya’s health situation is compelling the French government into forcing Yaoundé to the negotiating table. Peaceful negotiations would never result in the recognition of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia by Yaoundé and the French government, so the world is in for another prolong political crisis.
President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his Vice, Comrade Dabney Yerima may have no choice but to accept whatever the US and Europe brings to the table if the Ambazonia Interim Government wants to retain American support for the creation of a Southern Cameroons state.
By Asu Isong in London