By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi
The United States, Canada and the European Union have called on President Paul Biya to use his new mandate to immediately arrest the Anglophone crisis through dialogue.
US urge government, separatists to dialogue
“The United States congratulates the people of Cameroon for largely peaceful elections on October 7. We urge all parties – including the government – to respect the rule of law, resolve peacefully any disputes through established legal channels, and avoid hate speech.
“While we welcome the Cameroonian Election Commission’s demonstrable improvement over the 2011 elections, there were a number of irregularities prior to, during, and after the October 7 election. These irregularities may not have affected the outcome but created an impression that the election was not credible or genuinely free and fair. We commend the African Union Election Observation Mission for its preliminary statement, notably that “the current framework needs to be strengthened in order to safeguard the democratic principles of separation of powers, fairness, and independence and impartiality.”
“With the conclusion of the presidential election, the United States strongly encourages both sides involved in the conflict affecting the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon to focus on resolving differences through peaceful dialogue and to allow unhindered access to humanitarian aid workers.”
Canada exhorts Cameroon Gov’t, stakeholders to find solution to Anglophone crisis
Global Affairs Canada has urge Cameroonian authorities and all stakeholders to engage firmly in an inclusive dialogue in order to find long-term peaceful solutions to the crisis and put an end to the violence that rages in the northwest and southwest regions.
In a statement issued after, Cameroon’s Constitutional Council declared Biya winner, Global Affairs Canada said,
“Canada takes note of this result and takes this opportunity to encourage the Cameroonian authorities to continue implementing the necessary reforms to strengthen the electoral legal framework”
“We call on the Cameroonian authorities and all stakeholders to engage firmly in an inclusive dialogue in order to find long-term peaceful solutions to the crisis and put an end to the violence that rages in the northwest and southwest regions”.
The statement states that, Canada is a long-time friend of the Cameroonian people and seizes the opportunity to reiterate its commitment to support Cameroon in its future efforts to meet the challenges of peace and social and economic development. Canada remains ready to accompany Cameroon in its process for the return of peace.
EU urges Biya to unite Cameroon
The European Union has urged Cameroon’s President-elect Paul Biya to strive in uniting Cameroon in a bid to overcome the troubles it has been facing in recent years.
Paul Biya was declared winner of the October 7 Presidential election by the Constitutional Council on Monday, handing the 85-year old a seven-year mandate to extend his 36-year rule.
The European Union who did not observe the polls only issued a statement on the election four days after the proclamation of the results.
“The European Union expects the President-elect to bring together all stakeholders to overcome the challenges facing the country, to the benefit of all Cameroonians,” a spokesperson of the EU said in a statement.
“While elections were generally held in a peaceful manner, some parts of the population were unable to take part in the vote,” the statement said.
“The EU reiterates its concern about the situation in the North-West and South-West regions of the country.
“It is crucial that the authorities are open to the proposals of civil society and religious authorities for a peaceful and lasting resolution of the crisis, and that a process of dialogue be launched as soon as possible with all actors in favour of peace.”
“Such reforms are crucial and the EU stands ready to accompany such a process,” it said.
“Africa does not need charity, it needs a balanced partnership and Europe needs this partnership just as much,” European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said last month.
UK sends veiled orders to Biya
The British government has issued a statement, October 23, congratulating Biya on his re-election into office. The statement was signed by the Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin.
In the statement, Harriet Baldwin said the British government is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Anglophone regions, which continue to suffer from high levels of violence and human rights abuses perpetrated by both security forces and armed separatists.
“The UK calls on the Government of Cameroon to now take urgent action to address the crisis in the Anglophone regions”.
Excerpt of the full statement below;
“We hope that President Biya will reach out to all sections of Cameroonian society and work to build confidence and trust. It is crucial for all parties to engage in a peaceful and structured process leading to constitutional reforms, as previously set out by the President, and avoid excessive use of force.”
“The UK is concerned at the worsening humanitarian situation in the Anglophone regions and the impact this is having on the lives of ordinary people. We call on all parties to grant full and unhindered humanitarian access to the affected population.”
“The UK will continue to work alongside the international community to encourage and support efforts to resolve the Anglophone crisis. It is vital that all parties now work together to secure a peaceful future for all Cameroonians.”