Hail Geneva

EDITORIAL 08 Jul 2019
Hail Geneva

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, June 27, 2019, declared its willingness to facilitate a process that is likely to pave the way for the much talked-of dialogue on the Anglophone problem. Back home, it had sounded more of a rumour, especially as it was overshadowed by violent demonstrations, which carried various interpretations. But that, the Swiss capital, Geneva, has in the past few days been working on what now seems like preliminary ‘’Talks for Talks’’ between the Cameroon Government and Ambazonian leaders, is indeed a statement of fact. We hail the authorities in Geneva for their initiative.
Added to this good news is the fact that, the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, are backing the Swiss initiative, which we believe makes it more assuring that this time around, the story will be different. We have all along been indicting the UN, US, EU, and the entire international community for merely barking with condemnations of the on-going bloodbath in the two Anglophone regions of the country, and doing little or nothing to put an end to the carnage. We might have been judging them wrongly without knowing that underneath the worsening situation, pressure must have been put to bear on both sides, under the cover of diplomacy.
Now that they are backing the Swiss initiative, we would expect the barking to stop and transformed into concrete action. This concrete action must reflect the sincerity of these new partners in the business of finding a lasting solution to the on-going Anglophone problem. Our focus on the sincerity of the new partners, that is, the UN, US and the EU is more on the United Nations. We are urging them to assume their primary responsibility in this particular issue. There is a saying that ‘’there can be no smoke without fire’’, which means, that the Anglophone crisis did not just erupt from nowhere, without a root cause.
Nor can the UN attempt to make the world believe that the very UN, which played a major role in the cumbersome process of the independence of the Southern Cameroons, via the options of joining either the newly independent French Cameroun, or integration with the Federal Republic of Nigeria should today claim innocence of the errors on one side, and manipulations on the other that have given rise to the situation in the country today.
We equally indict the United Kingdom, the former trusteeship master of the Southern Cameroons for pretending not to have noticed the errors and manipulations that littered the path through which the Southern Cameroons passed on the way to their ill-given independence and, a reunification hinged on bad faith on the part of the other partner. Even as we are stating these facts, we of this Newspaper are more optimistic now than ever. There is beginning to appear some flashlight at the distant end of the tunnel. The sooner the warring parties take advantage of this golden opportunity, the better.
Already, a meeting with various opposition groups in Geneva has just ended, the target of which was to prepare the ground for future peace negotiations between the Cameroon Government and the various political groups not excluding the Ambazonians. Despite the glaring efforts by the Swiss Government, the Cameroon Government has still not made any clear statement, while the separatist leaders insist on the restoration of Southern Cameroons independence. In the face of all these contradictions, one thing remains pertinent. We strongly believe that at the present stage of the Swiss initiative, aimed at bringing the warring parties to the table, it is too early to put up any preconditions. We clearly see the on-going Swiss initiative in its preliminary stage. It is obvious that in negotiations such as this, every party can only put its card on the table while negotiations are going on in the presence of other neutral parties and in our specific case, the UN, US, EU, who have opted to back the Swiss initiative and are believed to be strongly encouraging the Swiss government.
What we think is at stake now, is the lack of good faith on the part of some Government backers, and they seem to be the ones in control, who still believe that the solution to this crisis lies in a military victory. We certainly do not think the same. This is the right moment for all of us to reflect on our errors and right them. Time is certainly running out on us.

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