The international community and the Anglophone crisis

EDITORIAL 17 Jan 2020
The international community and the Anglophone crisis

For the past three years or so, since the Anglophone crisis escalated into what now seems evidently a full scale war, it is increasingly becoming intriguing for any serious observer to actually locate the position of the international community, as their contribution in finding a lasting solution to the crisis. What is obvious is the fact that, the world has constantly been fed with diplomatic niceties, coined in language of their discipline, which only diminish the hopes of the suffering populations of the two regions.
A few weeks back, we witnessed the combined visits of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, that of the Francophonie and the President of the African Union Commission, who jointly held discussions with the head of state, discussions from which Cameroonians expected so much but got very little. We agree that the international community can not break into the premises of a sovereign state and dictate terms on how to handle certain internal problems, but we equally believe that posterity will hold them accountable if they turn a blind eye on what is currently going on in the country.
At the background of all this however, we can understand that while the three bodies we have mentioned above, do not represent the global view point on the situation in Cameroon, and so no one should expect a comprehensive and collective approach from them in solving the crisis, it should not be forgotten that the United Nations has an inalienable responsibility in spearheading a campaign, that can lead to a solution to the crisis, using all the legal instruments at its disposal to put in place a road map to this much desired peace.
We are saying this with certainty. The United Nations played a major role in the process of the creation of a new nation in 1961. And if at any point of its role in the process things went wrong, particularly in relation to terms under which this union came into being, the UN should feel concern that things went the other way. Which is why we think the UN should stand firm on its responsibility in helping to solve the crisis in the country.
Fortunately we have heard on several occasions the government of Cameroon being urged to go back to the very roots of this crisis as a way forward towards finding a lasting solution. We in this Newspaper also share the views of others who have said it before that, as a crucial first step, government should declare a ceasefire to clear the ground for some form of a halt to violence. That, government declares a ceasefire should not necessarily be interpreted as weakness on the part of government. It should instead be perceived as a show of good faith in the process of resolving a problem that has gone off hand.
However, contrary to this proposition, government seems to believe in a military solution. Virtually rejecting the proposition for a ceasefire, the head of state in his end of year speech re-echoed his call for the ‘Ambazonian’ fighters to lay down their arms or face the wrath of the military. While we are not holding brief for the separatist fighters, instead we look at it as being pertinent for them to actually lay down their arms and look forward for peace. But our question is, could a ceasefire respected by both fighting sides not build the necessary confidence to foster a spirit of reconciliation, than for one party to lay down arms while the other parade the regions with heavy weapons. The situation on the ground calls for every effort that leads to peace, coming from every angle of the globe.
But we are again worried, following the recent representation of the diplomatic corps at the presidency, on the occasion of the presentation of new year wishes to the head of state, during which the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Gabonese born Paul Patrick Biffot, spent much of his time showering praises on the head of state for what he is doing to stabilise the economy of Cameroon.
On the current crisis in Cameroon, while beseeching Biya to reach out to key actors of the crisis, the Dean simply said Cameroon will remain one and indivisible. We consider this stance unfortunate. It portrays the lack of concern for the situation the country is going through. The suffering populations of these two regions expect more from the international community than just diplomatic niceties.

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