ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 29 Xinhua | The African Union (AU) and its partners on Friday commended recent measures taken by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya to defuse political tensions in the West African country’s troubled Anglophone regions.
This came after a meeting between the AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and Cameroon’s president Biya, accompanied by the Secretary-General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo, and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, on the current political situation in Cameroon, according to the joint declaration issued on Friday following the conclusion of the tripartite visit.
The African Union and secretary generals of the OIF and Commonwealth welcomed the convening of the Grand National Dialogue which ushered in a new dynamic and which recommended, inter alia, the acceleration of decentralization, the special status of the North West and South West regions, and the review of the education and legal systems, including the measures taken by President Biya to defuse political tensions.
The three officials also emphasized that “dialogue remains the preferred path to be encouraged within the present Cameroonian context.”
The tripartite mission, which is said to be an extension of the visits that the leaders of the three organizations had undertaken over the last months to Cameroon, envisaged to encourage the ongoing national efforts for the implementation of the Conclusions of the Grand National Dialogue, and support the pacification of the situation, peace-building, national cohesion and unity in Cameroon.
Earlier last month, the West African country had organized a national dialogue to end a separatist conflict in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions that have been ravaged by armed separatism since 2017.
The talks that were led by Cameroon’s Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute mainly aimed to find “lasting solutions” to the conflict in the Anglophone regions, as hundreds of delegates from the 10 regions of the country took part in the five-day dialogue.
Since 2017, armed separatists have been clashing with government forces in the two Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest in a bid to create an independent nation they called “Ambazonia.”
According to figures from the United Nations, the conflict has killed hundreds while more than 530,000 have been displaced internally as a result of the conflict. Enditem