Cameroon crisis: ‘Federalism is the solution,’ says opposition leader Maurice Kamto

Deutsche Welle | During his three-day trip to Paris, Maurice Kamto opened up to DW’s Mimi Mefo about his plans to boycott the upcoming election and his concern over the deteriorating situation in Cameroon’s Anglophone region.

Over four months after his release from prison, Cameroon’s opposition leader Maurice Kamto is in Europe to meet with the diaspora community. He spoke with DW about his experience in jail, why he thinks open dialogue is an essential tool when it comes to solving the Anglophone crisis and the reasoning behind his decision to boycott the upcoming election in February.

DW: As opposition leader, you have called for a boycott of the elections in Cameroon this year. Why? 

Maurice Kamto: These elections are not going to change anything. There’s a multifaceted crisis in our country. [We have] the current situation in the north-west and southwest, the so-called Anglophone regions of Cameroon. It’s sad when you think about it that there has been an ongoing war for the past three years in our own country. Cameroonians are fighting Cameroonians. And we are still not able to settle the matter. There is something wrong there, and it is something I can’t understand. If you lead a country, you should make sure that you address the concerns of the people. If people in the English-speaking part of the country say that they have a problem with the government, and you tell them you don’t care, it means that there is something wrong. With the situation in the English-speaking part of the country and the whole electoral holdup in 2018, that’s why we made the decision not to participate in this year’s elections. But that doesn’t mean we shy away from democracy. We made the decision to go into power peacefully through elections. This has been our path since the very beginning of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC). Making the decision not to participate in the polls does not mean that we are not part of the democratic game. It is just that we were upset with the situation, and we tried to reach out to the government by sending them a clear message. But they never listened. We extended a peaceful hand to sit down and make a consensual reform of the electoral system.

You spent nine months in prison last year after facing charges of insurrection. Can you tell us a bit about your experience? 

The prison is not a place where you would like to send somebody, even your enemy. And especially in Cameroon. What shocked me the most was the torture against many of our militants. So, that was a matter of concern because people are still being tortured today in Cameroon. Prison has not changed my commitment and my faith in the future of Cameroon.

In prison, you met with leaders of the separatist movement who were also arrested. What did you discuss with them? 

We met as prisoners. The only thing I can say is that they are people you can talk to. And that’s why I keep on saying that we can solve the problem politically if there is a will. But there is no trust anymore in the current government. And the mistrust is terrible, but it comes down to dialogue. If you are not trustful of somebody, you can’t do anything seriously.

There is this question of what you can do as far as the Anglophone crisis is concerned. You are a renowned political figure in Cameroon; you have a lot of contacts on the international scene. What have you been able to do to solve this crisis?

To propose a new way of handling the matter. First of all, involve all the stakeholders in the dialogue. When we speak of inclusive dialogue, it means that we should bring all the stakeholders around the table. All of them. Including the representatives of armed groups, separatists, and those who were sentenced to life and are still in prison. Because if you don’t talk to people, you can’t convince them. Why should you impose your view or your agenda on others? Bring them to the table and explain why this decision is probably not a good option. Bring them around the table. But before you do that, make sure you negotiate a ceasefire with those who are fighting that they lay their arms down. And bring some peace; cool down their hearts. Many of them have lost their villages which have been burnt to ashes and they would like to see if their [family] is still there. After that, they can take part in the discussion.

But what is your solution?

My position is quite clear. I said that decentralization is not a solution anymore. I clearly stated that the solution is federalism. I have always said that it is not two-state federalism. We’ll start with our own form, discuss it, and agree on what they would like to see in their own state as part of the federal government or system in Cameroon. And from there, you extend it to the rest of Cameroon because it’s not just the Anglophones who are asking for federalism today.

How would you want the world and your supporters in Cameroon to remember you? 

I want my fellow compatriots and people abroad to see me as a Cameroonian who is dedicated to his country. And who will always do his best to bring peace and rebuild a new Cameroon where people live together where the youth have a place.

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26 comments

  1. Mr. Kamto, SC, had long passed your federalism thing. Why you are prescribing it
    today, is because you french stoogies, see SC as fools and idiots. This, dates back
    from the time of the YES / OUI day.
    I am extremely happy you said you want a Cameroon, where the youths have a place.
    Beside the joblessness of the youth metted on them by the regime, it brought death
    upon them by the genocide going on in SC. All those youths dying there now, are
    merely paying the price of daring to challenge Biya / co, even with carrying peace plants,
    asking for crumbs. Very pathetic.

  2. Federalism? Deja Vu!

    However, it is good to know that the ENAM of France produces Sous-prefets who do not block MRC rallies in Paris as their homologues do in Douala, Yaounde, Sangmelima, Bafoussam.

  3. Who cares what you Bamilekes, Bulus, Basas, Yamassa, Bamum, Tikari and Doualas want? Amba guns will fetch them what they want.

    Imagine Sako did not infiltrate our revolution to carefully implement Paul Biya’s plan of killing our generals and seizing our weapons, imagine Big# or Gen Ivo before him went ahead and quietly distributed his sticks and groundnuts to the great states of Bui and Donga-Mantung and went ahead to get reinforcement from Nigeria as intended, imagine the sell-out working now for Biya, Nambere and Success did not disclose all our routes of transporting logistics by sea and land to the Bulu Beti genocidal killing machines, imagine they stop hating graffis and start asking questions like who benefits when Sako kills our sniper Nginyam who shut down Bui on his own?

    • Kikiki, Bamboutos (Pinyin cousins) man…you dan see wehti?

      You ko imagine all kana thing…imagine sey SC bin join Naija, imagine sey Naija bin swallow SC, imagine sey SC for be liké NC for inside Naija jes non.

      Ah di see sey you di turn-turn mimba sey short man Cho na the correct leader for facebook-Rep. ehr!

      Lef gen Ivo meik yi RIP, yi bin discover wuna diaspora-hoax…sep yi no for meng, wuna coni bin dan already kill all yi spir-it finish.

      Wuna di daso send small illiterates dem for go ndohmoh, forsika sey wuna know sey yi go teik dem very long b4 dem discover wuna true-true face.

      Hang godas, and then learn book from Kamto…

    • Kukum Pass Garri

      The enemie, the Ambazombie defeated terrorist fool.

      Imagine if you listened to the words of the wise, you will not find yourself lamenting here imagine this imagine that!

      All these facts you are asking us to imagine were clear to anyone who has a critical mind. So before you embarked on your journey of stupidity, you should have put in place measures to mitigate the imminent risks which should have been clear to you.

      How dull do you have to be not to imagine all these facts before embarking on your journey of terror, stupidity and doom?

      How dull do you have to be to blame your opponent for defeating you in a fight? You must be absolutely foolish not to imagine that your opponent will employ all these strategies to annihilate you! Why did you not prepare for snake bite snake? Nyamfukah

  4. Kamto
    Tu ne seras jamais président au Cameroun.
    Vas meme faire un concert à Times square, va meme à la lune, etc….
    Ca se passe à YAOUNDE!

  5. Kamto and Biya are birds of the same feather.
    Both think they have the LEGAL AUTHORITY to determine what is good for 8(eight) million Southern Cameroonians
    All of them yearn for the abundant natural resources in SC. That is the reason they want SC to disappear in the history books. They want to assimilate Southern Cameroonians. They treat Southern Cameroonians as children. That is why they want to determine the destiny of Southern Cameroonians.
    Dictator Biya says a Special Slave Status is good for Southern Cameroonians.
    Kamto says a (2+x) states Federation is good for Southern Cameroonians.

    Of course, only Southern Cameroonians themselves can and will determine their own destiny with the help of Only AK47, RPGs, BOMBs and sundry weapons. Not Kamto, not Dictator Biya

    • “Je ne comprends pas qu’il soit toujours président. Biya est au pouvoir quasiment depuis ma naissance. C’est ridicule. Pourquoi les Camerounais acceptent-ils cela? Si au moins le pays était stable, bien gouverné, avec des régions égales les unes par rapport aux autres et un faible taux de chômage, si au moins c’était un pays où règne l’ordre public et où sont assurées une santé et une éducation de qualité… Mais ce n’est pas le cas” ( Chimamanda Ngozi, 2020)

    • “I have always said that it is not two-state federalism” (Kamto, 2020).

      BTW, Kamto, by omission or design, is inadvertently proposing the SEPARATION of SC from the INFORMAL cohabitation.

      WHY?????

      This is so because SC is “one and indivisible”, LRC is also “one and indivisible”.
      Simply put, two “one and indivisible” states can only form a federation of TWO states EQUAL IN STATUS. NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS.

      There are only TWO options to resolve the impasse:

      Option #1:

      A federation of two states(SC+LRC) EQUAL IN STATUS (cf. UNGA Resolution 1608

      OR

      Option #2:

      SEPARATION OF SC and LRC

      There is ZERO third option.

      Simply put, military adventurism, Special Slave Status, Decentralisation, commission on bilingualism, etc should be considered as a sheer waste of precious time

  6. Une fois de plus, Biya vient d’être battu à son propre jeu.

    Les forces de défense et de sécurité du Cameroun ont incendié des maisons et des magasins en AMBAZONIE. Nous avons la liste de ce qu’ils font en plus de leurs actes barbares.

    Ils pillent, ils brûlent, ils tuent, ils mangent des chiens, volent du bétail
    Pour se faire passer pour des Ambazoniens.
    Ils s’habillent en clochards dans les rues et cachent des armes.
    Ils infiltrent pour écouter ce qui se dit.
    Les fonctionnaires vivent dans le chantage permanent
    Ils volent les pc, les téléphones et tout ce qu’ils trouvent.

    LA RIPOUBLIQUE thief our ressources, buy weapons with the money then come and kill us with the weapons from the money of our ressources way dem thiefam.La Ripoublique Voleur. Assassin. Bandit. NoBoDy can Accept slavery

    • Kumkum Pass Garrri

      This is a perfect example of Ambazombie stupidity. This terrorist Wendy pede Marc, thinks that posting the above lies everyday on this news site has any impact on the situation. The world knows that Ambazombies are terrorists and there is nothing that this pede wendy marc can do to change that.

      So Pede Marc, your comments are just proof that the ambazombies are the most foolish people from Cameroon.

      I will continue to expose the absolute stupidity of you ambazombie fools, and the terror that you dish out to the people of the NW/Sw everyday ! You ampuate the arms of students and teachers and claim that will get you independence. You rape torture and behead innocent women like Ma Ayafor Florence; You abolish education for the poor in the NW/SW and claim that will give you independence.

      • Kumkum Pass Garrri

        I am sorry people, I made a mistake. I withdraw my comments. I didn’t reflect properly.
        Henceforth, I will be civil. I have evolved and changed. I really don’t like Biya but Amba killed a beloved and that makes me so mad that often times I want to support a despot.
        Cameroon needs change but I believe we should tread carefully. Spewing venomous rhetoric is not really my M.O and I realize that the clique at the helm have not governed correctly. I do not want anymore bloodshed but I realize that change happens in circumstances that are not always desirable.
        Cameroon needs proper dialogue and actions to be taken; we need the regime in power to step down, constitutional limits and an independent electoral system as in Kenya, Ghana, Liberia etc. We need to be better stewards of our patrimony.

  7. ambazoniagenocidelibrary.com
    ambacolors.blogspot.com

    Les gens sont venus vers vous, ils vous ont tendu la main et qu’avez-vous fait? Non seulement vous les mordez et poignardez dans le dos, vous les insultez, les torturez, les massacrez et vous osez prétendre qu’il y ‘aurait pire là bas ? Que peuvent-ils voir de pire avec plus de 15.000 morts, des ressources pillées, des villages rasés, des maisons détruites ? Pour vous, ce sont des rats, des cafards, des Bamenda, des NOSO = (des malades), ce sont des ambafools, ce sonts des ambazombies etc… However, la liberté est un droit humain et nous allons etre libre de mettre en expression nos talents, nos conceptions et notre créativité sans avoir à subir votre esclavagisme francophone.

    La décentralisation, c’est pour les blaireaux.

  8. Des tentatives de sabotage en vain
    ****************************************
    Vous essayez par tous les moyens de saboter les AMBAZONIENS en vain.
    Vous montez tous les jours des coups foireux qui finissent toujours par vous trahir.

    -Des enlèvements quotidiens (par votre milice tribale)
    -Balikumbat (les populations chassent les bandits infiltrés). Échec lamentable
    -Bangourain, échec lamentable
    -Ayafor Florence, échec lamentable
    -Le professeur tué pour accuser IG, échec lamentable
    -Enterrement d’une femme en vie, échec lamentable avec un autre montage grossier
    -Vous continuez avec votre cinéma pour essayer de convaincre qui ?

  9. It really taxes credulity to believe that Cameroonians would eat their cake and have it too, that all the killings and burials in mass graves and mass exodus to refugeeland still leaves the Fatherland creditworthy for more IMF loans and still viable for loan repayment.

    • You have the right to hate the country of your birth but let those who love it work to rebuild it. Some of you will not be wishing it hell if you lived there. Shame.

      Who told you the people who sign those loans care about the number of people killed in our country? Baba, we dey na 2020. You no know your oga their motif?

      By the way, your tropical Anglo saxon cult has committed as much atrocities as the army. Time di come….

      Signed
      AfricanBlackLeg

      • BrotherJosephus the Bametta Disease,

        Why is it always Bametta people collecting 30 pieces of silver to sell their own birth right? From Muna to Mbah Ndam, Acha Rose to your kind here we are still fighting to cure you of your Meta treachery? You’ve been hiding in the USA for 32 years and counting eating lavishly on the sweat of others and denying the same basic right you can’t leave behind to your own people? Why are you Bametta people so wicked and heartless? Paul Biya has recruited Irene Ngwa and Fabian Fomunki to work for him and sell their people and the Bametta criminals are just perfecting the wickedness with no remorse. You hang out here everyday trying to denigrate a people you call yours because you think you can Abere chemistry better than the rest. Shame on you, brothaJosephus.

        • enemir,

          if you need more medications, call your psychiatrist. you are too sick to be engaged with.

          your rants here will not give you independence. if you no like am, find the closest river and drown yourself. Kikikikikikikikikikikikikikiki

          Signed,
          AfricanBlackLeg

        • Pinyin man,

          Etas security for airport dem charge Tapang yi cargo sotey charge yi kanass too, the consequences for wuna krish go wild…some arda Amba fool, dokita from Australia, Dr. Awoh, dey jes non for mbellé dem hand for CMR. Dem catch yi upon arrival for inside Ethiopian Airlines.

          Oh-oh, ah di sorry you ehr ! You go ever see Pinyin again so?

          Retirement witi bottle mimbo for hand and 5 teeth for inside mop for under bridge for Mary yi Land for Etas no go easy…

        • Kumkum Pass Garrri

          L’enemie has taken an overdose of tramol and marijuana without any odeshi. Madness is his portion for 2020.

          As more Black Legs emerge everyday L’enemie is losing his mind. Black Legs Oye! We are winning Mount Cameroonly!

          Tapang ivo just deleted Rebel TV. We will teach that rat the lesson of his life. Only 1% of the law suits planned against him have been filed. We have taken some lesson from the already filed cases and we are preparing a series of mami water suits to show Tapang that wata no be H2O.

          Tapang violated the TRO and committed perjury. Looking forward to seeing his mugshot in orange scrubs! We know where to file our cases. The California Courts you are the best in the US according to a survey of Black Legs!

          Nyamfukah call e sef say L’enemie.

  10. Since Mbi Mvondo Biya was handed power, no elections have been conducted fairly & he’s never won once. That frustration of being rejected & knowing he’s illegitimate only increases his desire to persecute his people, kill them in Douala, Yaoundé & everywhere he feels opposed. The idea of democracy troubles him & leaving power is not an option for the dismissed seminarian. He has only one option, run the country to the ground.
    My countryman Inoni joined this rogue & it got sour. In his twilight, he is as confused as a disoriented brat. He must be toying with the option of handing power to his family. He has no clues just like Mugabe.Two term (14 yrs) term limit set by Biya was a scam.
    How about the fake diaspora meeting 3 yrs ago? And the Special Status charade? Biya is a devil incarnate.

  11. Kamto is fine in LRC and overseas. The day he shall step foot in Ambazonia shall be his last day on earth–he shall be eliminated by any means possible. Nobody selected him to be the spokesperson for Ambazonia. He has zero support in his own native Bamilekeland and is scorned in other parts of LRC so the only way to stay in the news is to say something about Ambazonia.

    Interestingly, he has been quiet even when Bamilekes were brutalized and driven out of Ebolowa and Sangmelima. Coward!

    • Shrewd, smart observer!!!

      • When plumages match, self-consolation is said to be a very useful therapy that can cure hate and tribalism, especially when amyloid plaques begin to take their toll on the human brain…

  12. Le règne perpétuel de la terreur. Eh bien. Ils ont pris en otage plus de 1,500,000 anglophones à l’heure ou on parle pour se servir de leurs identités pour faire croire qu’ils ont voté. Ils arrêtent et obligent les anglophones à sortir de chez eux. Les éléments du BIR ont massacrés plus de 2500 personnes depuis le début de cette année 2020. Les élections ont déjà commencé depuis quelques jours avec l’arme pointé sur des familles.

    Frogs are lazy, ignorant, awkward criminals and crooks.
    *********************************************
    Les pays francophones sont les derniers de la planète. Ce sont des fainéants du CFA.
    AMBAZONIA shall be free amidst all spikes

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