Shall we, or shall we not end this blood bath?

EDITORIAL 26 Aug 2020
Shall we, or shall we not end this blood bath?

If nothing else, we in this Newspaper remain very conscious of the widespread condemnation of acts of brutal killings, most of them very unprofessional in conventional wars. We have not only been conscious of the degree of atrocities committed by both parties in the conflict. We have vehemently joined the chorus in these condemnations because no right thinking person will watch such acts with consolation.
Across our borders, the image of the country has been blackened by our “New Found Culture” of killing ourselves brutally to the point that, the U.S. Ambassador had to wade in, to describe the attacks as “Senseless”. South West Chiefs did not feel any better, when they described such acts as shameful and undignified. In another incident, at least 15 persons who are said to have been identified as “Amba Fighters” were reportedly beaten to death. Even this too, is brutal killing. Isn’t it painful that we have degenerated into a nation that cares little about flesh and blood?
Whichever way we look at it, the truth is that civilians are losing their lives and it would not make any sense if those who are in positions to manage the crisis should allow politics, or their personal interests to be injected into a grave situation such as the Anglophone crisis have proved to be. For this reason, even as these gruesome acts pass through our minds and leave behind thorny tracks of emotions, the important question to ask, and which is being constantly asked is whether or not, we are prepared to put an end to this senseless conflict?
It may indeed sound a tricky question no doubt, especially when the government simply comes up with an appeal, urging an end to perpetration of what it clearly describes as unspeakable atrocities against the population. Our concern and worry over this government position is that, not much attention is being paid towards the option of peace through a meaningful dialogue.
We strongly believe that such appeals must be closely followed by a heartfelt government declaration of an unconditional ceasefire, as well as visible efforts in creating an enabling environment for the much needed dialogue. It is on record that, this has been the wish of everyone who feels concerned with the crisis in these two regions of the country, and have for so long been calling on government to embark on such a project, including even the international community.
At a point however, the world did appreciate what seemed like a commendable move by government, to at least open a contact corridor into some preliminary talks with detained leaders of Separatists still being held in Yaounde. It was indeed a welcome move which brightened the day, hoping that the doors will be thrown widely open for real talks. But unfortunately these hopes disappeared all of a sudden in thin smoke. A government statement later simply watered it down as if after a second thought, it regretted its very action. It is unfortunate that since then, there have been little or no efforts to push forward the peace initiative which the world clearly perceived could make a difference on the ground as far as this crisis is concerned. All said, government’s lukewarm approach to the situation in the two Anglophone regions, simply suggests that somewhere along the line, most probably at the top of the ladder of the management class of this crisis, there may be enemies in the house, who would prefer war than peace or, probably genocide.
We still maintain our stand on this issue. We have had enough of the blood of our fellow Cameroonians spilled in what must not have been allowed to degenerate to the present situation. Now, we are left with the painful option of lamentation which, of course hardly produces any results. An unconditional ceasefire, followed by a meaningful dialogue is the only way out of this crisis, pride and prejudice aside. We urge government once more to heed to the voices of those who care for their good!

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