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Cameroon opposition demands amnesty for separatists

VOA | Cameroon’s opposition and leaders of the Anglophone separatist movement have reacted to president Paul Biya’s call for national dialogue to resolve the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions.

Biya on Tuesday announced that he intends to open a major “national dialogue” later this month in a bid to solve the conflict between security forces and armed separatists from the anglophone minority in the west.

Separatist leader dismisses dialogue call

The leader of the separatist movement, Ayuk Tabe dismissed Biya’s call as a ‘non-starter’.

The speech was a non-event and a non-starter.

“The speech was a non-event and a non-starter,” separatist leader Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe said in a message relayed by his lawyers.

In August Ayuk Tabe was sentenced to life in prison along with nine of his supporters, a move that made the prospect of peace seem even more remote.

Ayuk Tabe is the first self-proclaimed president of “Ambazonia”, a breakaway state declared in October 2017 in two English-speaking regions of the central African country.

He described Biya’s dialogue initiative as “an awkward and grudging attempt timed to avoid UN sanctions, considering that the UN will be deliberating on the anglophone crisis this September and Mr Biya and his regime has been amply put on notice.”

He added that “President Biya unilaterally declared the ongoing war in the Northwest and Southwest regions. He must unilaterally declare an end to the war that he declared.”

Opposition calls for ‘amnesty before dialogue’

The opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF), on Friday called for a “general amnesty” for detainees linked to the separatist crisis and a “ceasefire” before participating in the “grand national dialogue” proposed by Biya.

During a meeting with the prime minister who is leading the dialogue, the party transmitted “preliminary conditions for (its) participation in this long-awaited inclusive national dialogue”.

“We have unequivocally noted that the announced inclusive national dialogue cannot effectively prosper without a calm environment: the declaration of a ceasefire and the guarantee of a general amnesty for all those involved at any level in the English-speaking crisis,” the statement states.

At midday, however, SDF Vice-President Joshua Osih qualified this text in an interview with AFP: “These are proposals, we should not try to qualify them, but it seems obvious to us that this is justified”, he explained, adding: “we have talked about our vision of dialogue, it is up to them to react unless they want a monologue”.

The Anglophone crisis

Since November 2016, when the government violently cracked down on peaceful protests by teachers and lawyers in the Anglophone regions, the francophone-majority country has been mired in the unrest.

More than 2,000 people have been killed while over 500,000 have been displaced as the English-speaking separatists demand independence in the Northwest and Southwest regions.

The UN has said that its Secretary General Antonio Guterres “welcomes the announcement” by Biya and “reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to support the dialogue process.”

But many commentators said that if Biya’s overture is genuine, it will have little chance of headway as long as separatist leaders remain behind bars or in exile.

Agencies

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11 comments

  1. I doubt the stance of the UN. What if the decision is that separation, is the option
    but Biya refuses?

  2. Of course, the so-called GRAND DIALOGUE is a NON-EVENT.
    The warlords have rejected it. They are the people who control ground zero.
    Ngute, Musonge, Atanga Nji and other LRC stooges have already written the resolutions of the meeting in advance. The meeting is simply a formality. They will recommend DECENTRALISATION.
    However, their recommendations will NEVER EVER bring peace to SC. The war will intensify and even enter LRC..
    The conditions for GENUINE peace to return to SC are as follows:

    1. negotiate with the WARLORDS

    OR

    2. defeat the WARLORDS

    OR

    3. resolve the Anglophone Question.

    Simply put, Dictator Biya’s GRAND DIALOGUE is a sheer waste of precious time, energy and scarce resources. NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS

    • Boy, Biya still thinks, that these are the days of Muna / Foncha, wherein,
      Ahidjo sailed through after he tricked them with beautiful ladies, accomodation,
      asorted french wine etc etc. Man, the new generation politicians / warlords,
      are called AMBAZONIANS. Pa Mola Njoh Litumbe, is a very important asset, this
      time around. If Biya is serious with his dialogue bid, Pa ought to be personally
      honored and invited. Ambazonia / cameroon history, is on his lips. He is there
      fore, a valuable asset in these talks.

    • **** FOOD FOR THOUGHT ****

      “Do you remember the delegation, I mean the so-called Musonge Commission that toured Southern Cameroons in the name of getting opinions from the people? Do you remember the conferences that held in Bamenda and Buea in the name of getting opinions from the people? Do you remember colonial PM recent tour in Ambazonia in the name of gathering positions? Do you remember the December 2016 meeting between teachers and lawyers in Bamenda where all ideas were packaged to the government of Paul Biya? Do you reminder the Laurent Esso and other ministers tour in the diaspora in 2017 from Belgium, USA, Canada, SA etc in the name of gathering opinions from the people? Now, what has happened with all the recommendations sent to Dictator Biya?”

      • Camer believer (Colby)

        @whatever you call yourself are you still cameroonian ? This issue is for cameroonians several times you boasted here being an “afro German” what concerns you with our matters? For the so called terrorist sponsors they have claimed not to be cameroonians anymore and I don’t understand why we need to discuss our country matters with foreigners otherwise they first need to acknowledge they are cameroonians and they were wrong then we can see what we can do to bring their senses back and forgive them.

    • LRC is a country ruled by deceit, deception and terror.
      Resolutions from the so-called NATIONAL DIALOGUE will be ignored by Dictator Biya and his master Macron. Dictator Biya is simply buying time with his so-called national dialogue.
      Southern Cameroonians can only free the fatherland with the help of AK47, BOMBS, IEDs and sundry weapons.
      Eritrea, S. Sudan, East Timor did not free their countries with national dialogues. Occupiers do not respect dialogues. They only respect weapons.

      • **** HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF ****

        In 1997, Dictator Mobutu had minimized Laurent Kabila and relied on his well-trained military at the time. The Army Chief of staff kept on promising Mobutu that the military will NEUTRALIZE Kabila and the secessionists. And there was, therefore, no need for dialogue even when the international community advised him to hold one.
        However, when Mobutu realised that Kabila could not be defeated he had to sue for dialogue and wanted things to happen according to his whims and caprices. Political and religious leaders, opinion groups, students and women movements were all invited in his so-called dialogue in Kinshasa. Kabila did not attend the charade.

      • . At the end of the “dialogue ”, the wrong people were sitting on a table to end a war they had no control over. Just a week after the Kinshasa charade, Kabila seized Kisangani and Goma. That is when Mobutu knew he was talking to the wrong people.
        The people, who will attend the so-called NATIONAL DIALOGUE have no groups or guns in the field and therefore no influence to stop the war. Since Dictator Biya can NEVER defeat the warlords, it is evident that only the warlords can stop the war. Simply put, any dialogue without the warlords is a sheer waste of precious time, energy and scarce resources. Even if Dictator Biya signs a decree stopping the war, the war will not stop. The warlords must accept to stop fighting.
        The Swiss dialogue is the solution because the warlords will attend

      • The CPDM so-called EFFECTIVE school resumption failed PANTS ON FIRE. The reason is easy to understand. The warlords control Ground zero. LRC proconsuls have little influence in SC.
        Dictator Biya has vowed that elections will take place in Feb. 2020. Permit me to state without fear of contradiction that there will be ZERO elections in Feb 2020 in SC. The warlords have so ordered and there is nothing Dictator Biya can do to hold elections in Feb. 2020.
        Simply put, Dictator Biya MUST, I repeat MUST negotiate with the warlords if he wants elections to take place in SC.

  3. Given the killings carried out by LRC on Southern Cameroons, the only dialogue should be only about the form of government henceforth. Furthermore, given the power force of the diaspora in the US, any dialogue without including them would not survive for a day. Make no mistake Cameroon would never be ONE and INDIVISIBLE.

  4. SANS SALAIRES, les militaires de la republique
    du Cameroun pillent des maisons, v-i-o-l-e-n-t,
    incendient des villages, tuent tous les animaux,
    chiens et chat pour manger. Ils prennent des otages,
    font du chantage et tirent sur ceux qui ne respectent pas les
    ghost towns pour SABOTER la Revolution de L’AMBAZONIE.
    Ils tuent des gens et accusent des AMBA BOYS pour pousser les populations
    à se retourner contre Les VAILLANTS AMBAZONIENS, combattants de la LIBERTE.

    Tous les JOURS , la milice tribale tue, assassine, massacre, détruit, et pille l’AMBAZONIE.

    TOUS vOS PLANS DIABOLIQUES TOMBENT A L’EAU. Les “BAMENDA” sont partis.

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