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Cameroon’s govt proposes special status for Anglophone regions, releases prisoners

africanews | Delegates at the ongoing national dialogue in Cameroon have welcomed the release of 330 prisoners and resolution to grant the English-speaking regions special status.

The country’s prime minister Joseph Dion Ngute, who is leading the dialogue process, announced on Thursday that president Paul Biya had ordered for the release of several hundred detainees linked to the separatist crisis.

“The president has asked for the release of more than 330 people who have been arrested because of the troubles in the Northwest and Southwest” regions,’‘ Ngute said.

We welcome the decision by the president to release 330 Anglophone detainees.

The “dialogue,” launched by Biya, is meant to resolve a crisis that has left thousands dead, driven hundreds of thousands from their homes and inflicted escalating economic damage.

The premier said Biya sought “a measure to calm (the situation)… while we continue our work.”

He read a statement first in French and then in English, and was given a standing ovation by many participants.

Separately, the president’s office issued a communique that said there were “333 persons concerned” by the measure.

Special administrative status

And late Thursday, delegates adopted a resolution at the dialogue’s plenary session recommending “special status” for the English-speaking areas “aimed at re-enforcing the autonomy of administrative areas”.

Armed separatists in the Northwest and Southwest regions launched a campaign two years ago for independence from Cameroon, where French is the predominant language.

Biya’s government has responded with a crackdown that rights groups have fiercely condemned.

The International Crisis Group has estimated that nearly 3,000 people have been killed in violence committed by both sides and more than half a million people have fled their homes.

Biya’s “dialogue,” which opened on Monday and is scheduled to end on Friday, brings together political groups, civil society and religious groups, as well as representatives of the armed forces.

‘Release detained leaders’

But armed rebel groups have snubbed the forum, and analysts have questioned whether the initiative can achieve much while the main separatist leaders are behind bars.

“We welcome the decision by the president to release 330 anglophone detainees. It is a step in the right direction,” Felix Agbor Nkongho, a leading anglophone lawyer and human-rights defender who is taking part in the forum, told AFP.

“But we call for a general amnesty to all those in detention and those in the diaspora under investigation.”

In August, secessionist leader Julius Ayuk Tabe, the self-proclaimed president of “Ambazonia”, was sentenced to life in prison along with nine of his supporters.

Biya, in his announcement of the “dialogue” on September 10, made no mention of any release of these figures, although he reiterated an offer to “pardon” any separatists who voluntarily lay down their arms.

English-speakers account for about a fifth of Cameroon’s population of 24 million.

They are mainly concentrated in the Northwest and Southwest regions, which were folded into Cameroon after the colonial era in Africa wound down six decades ago.

Resentment has festered there for years among English-speakers who complain of discrimination and marginalisation, especially in education, the judiciary and economic opportunities.

Biya, 86, who has been in power for nearly 37 years, has repeatedly refused demands for decentralisation or a return to a federal structure — a move blamed for radicalisation of the anglophone movement.

AFP

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45 comments

  1. Waste of my Amba time. This rubbish will not take our eyes of the Independence quest demonstrated by the gallant Amba boys in their triumphant march pass plus the bravery display by the backup forces in stopping the BIR convoys that were in their way to disrupt national day celebrations throughout Ambazonia.

    RIP to all that lay their lives for mother Ambazonia. No greater love can be asked from you all.

    @Bikutsi your smelling rotting Tumbuh lass. Akpara ashawo whore.

    • Comot for Face book then lef noise…..man di mbouk ndabamba na for field.

      Small kanass man pickin…

      • @ZamZam Dirty Mbalmayo Bamileke pig. You and MKPD @Kumkum sheet for dog have beheaded Ayafor Florence. Evil devils. Do you really think Ambazonians require special needs to accept your special status? Field Marshall today blew up the 200 terrorist soldiers parachuted into Lebialem. The war just began. Even Kamto ain’t gonna do shete. The Facebook country has finally raised a standing army. Hope you watch Oct 1st celebration starting from Field Marshall in his Koutaba uniform through General Big # in his Ambazonian defence gears and elite special unit to the gallant soft spoken intellectual General RK clad in a General’s Navy Cream White and his special Seals. The war have just started. The groundnuts and snipers from SA just arrived Ambaland. Stop killing civilians and face Amba Boys.

        • It is now very clear to the international community that your mov’t is a breeding space for cannibals. You behead women and feed on their organs.

          Nobody wants to associate himself with you brutes. You are now counting on the Field Marshal, a Dschang man, Bami.

          We are waiting for you in Pinyin—we go slice ya small kanass then chukam for inside your mop…

      • Kikikiki..bami pig….chaiiiiiii…u leavam old boy.I don laugh sotey i forget say i get to chop

  2. Great effort, but unfortunately that is not what we asked for; special administrative region no. In fact it is precisely the failure of that poorly trained administration that got us asking for federation or complete separation. Now in case you did not hear us : Nobody asked you for decentralisation.
    Freedom, Freedom, Freedom.
    In any case wata na wata

  3. By all means great effort, but unfortunately that is not what we asked for; special administrative region no. In fact it is precisely the failure of that poorly trained adm_nistration that got us asking for federation or complete separation. Now in case you did not hear us : Nobody asked you for de_central sation.
    Free_dom, Free_dom, Free_dom.
    In any case w_ata n a w_ata

  4. What distinguish a civilization from others is culture made up of language, and costoms that tie people together forming the foundation of economic cooperation.english and French are not languages of comminucation, but different cultures and ways of thinking. So imposing a single African language as lingua franca to creat a common identity is a most. We see the alienation that derives from alien languages in the behaviour of diasporans fighting for what they call independence. No calm cool headed calculated thinking base on reality but emotions. A careful examination of geography from kumba to kumbo then mamfe suggest independence is impossible without one hundred percent collaboration of NIGERIA. we know the position of the Nigerian government.

    • Special Status??? What an amorphous entity, easily swallowed by the next presidential decree. Quite a price to compensate for 12,000 innocent lives lost to AK-47.

  5. Even more difficult is the current geo political transformation of the world with the center of production shifting from the aryan world to China, with the decesion making power. Those who count on america have not taken this important point into consideration. By losing control of the global system of production, it has lost its position of historic initiative. Now it can not influence and make its will work like before. With the government of younde entering an alliance with China to provide cobalt for manufacturing of electric cars. It is practically impossible for younde to lose a war because it has the necessary financial resources to sustain conflict for the next three hundred years. This means the military approach taken by so called ambazonians is pure sucide.

  6. Truth and Facts

    Grand National dialogue on the Anglophone crisis being held predominantly in French with most or the participants not able to speak a word in English.
    Unfortunately, this war did not reach the streets in Yaounde. That would have been the only thing to really open the eyes of those organizing such theater.
    But again, I can’t blame them. When you have a dumb folk to rule where their main objective is to eat, drink alcohol and fornicate, you pretty much can do anything with them. Including ruling them poorly for 37 years and still get away with it.

  7. @Bah Acho, you nailed it. Spot-on. Respect my brother.

  8. Am just wondering out loud ! Why should the Anglophone Regions be treated like special need kids or handicapped people ? Cameroonian politicians should be honest in discussions about the form , structure and nature of the state ! What form and structure should our country be from here forward and why?

    • When you identify yourself as an “Anglophone” in an African country in the 21e century, you must be treated like a special need kid !
      When you think you can achieve ” freedom ” by kidnapping, killing and destroying your own kind, you must be treated as an handicapped person.

      • Well said. Tu bois quoi ma chérie?

      • A handicaped person is far more a better person to trust, foloow and respect than a thief, rapist, crook, criminal, fake undercovered with FRENCH that you drink day in day out with CFA and all the frenchie hidden things that you do. You speak french not so. I’m very proud to speak english and shall move with those who speak english. KA PIGE ?

      • Kikikiki, Bikut…..Kamto is soon out!

        Pardon il faut l’excuser. C’est 1 pt Panafricanist, il est dans notre camp, un tt pt peu…

  9. And since when did the charge of “terrorism” change to that of “misdemeanor”?
    Criminal liars change their stories the way chameleons change colors! The final answer lies in the ICJ, ICC.

    • It is not rocket science to discover a selfish, greedy dictator whose “hautes instructions” have destroyed and continue to destroy a once prosperous country.
      Unemployment of magistrates and judges is man-made by the greedy dictator!

      A judge or magistrate could dutifully and professionally examine all 333 case files and dismiss them in an open court, citing #2) irregular, warrantless arrests not backed by any notion of “probable cause”. Dictatorship does not know that. It yearns for subservience and handclapping which lazy, corrupt citizens readily offer.

  10. Dictator Biya has inadvertently transformed SC into an ISLAND OF WAR.

    After slaughtering more than 10.000 Southern Cameroonians and burning down more than 400 villages, Dictator Biya and his crime syndicate have refused to address the ROOT CAUSE of the Anglophone Question. That evil BULU Dictator now wants to force DECENTRALISATION down the throats of the Anglophones.
    Believe me or not, he will surely have a rude awakening. The war will surely intensify, the people in LRC will no longer be safe because the war will spread east of the mungo.
    Now that FEDERALISM has officially been rejected, Anglophone federalists will join the “secessionists” to liberate the land of their ancestors from illegal annexation by LRC and France. Dictator Biya has made the MOTHER OF ALL MISTAKES with……

    • …..FOOLISH agenda to annex the SC.
      Only the war will now decide the fate of the INFORMAL VIVRE-ENSEMBLE.
      The support for the warlords will now increase exponentially. Money for weapons will flow into the war chests of the warlords.
      Sooner than later, Dictator Biya will be BEGGING, I repeat BEGGING for federalism. However, the Anglophones will surely say NIET. It is either SEPARATION or RESISTANCE FOREVER.

      Dictator Biya has made another historical mistake by underestimating the determination of the Anglophones to rescue themselves from the evil hands of LRC and France.
      Francophones will henceforth consider SC as HELL ON EARTH because Amba boys will be in charge and te war will intensify.

      For the records, I will increase my financial contributions to the war by 30% with immediate effect.

  11. The lost for cheap blood money by some Ambazonians, has given Biya a lee way.
    But the end, is still far to come.

  12. It was evident from the outset that this was a charade meant to cajole & deceive the international community that has a stake in Cameroon’s resources that something is being done and then CRTV & other rogues of the regime would jump into paradisiacal praise-singing about their beloved despot doing everything to bring peace.
    To begin with, stealing elections in ’92, ’97, ’04 & 2018 is the most severe crime against the state. The collusion involved lifetime never retiring crooks like Fame Ndongo, Chiroma, Esso, Njifenji, Dipanda Moelle et al. These men have destroyed the country for personal gains.
    Kamto being in jail is just another evidence of friction and potential problems with his supporters. Expect them to take up arms down the road against the Beti-Bulu-Ewondo conspiracy and viola!!!

  13. It is a cliché “When a man is in love, he can’t help looking like a sheep”,
    “Most men prefer to be deceived, cheated, anything rather than to be bored.”
    Decentralization seems to be the nuance for autonomy or federalism and this is a ploy the Biya regime has used over the years to beguile its citizens. This clique knows no peace and but chaos and they’ve tactfully blamed it on the opposition or dissidents.
    When subservient crooks keep saying “H.E the president said…” you know exactly the country is in a very dark place. Courts serve no purpose except their ugly emblematic presentations of poor architecture.
    You knew the meeting was staged and the outcome would not be the People’s decision, Congress’s ruling or the courts’ decision but that of a ruthless despot. Problems unsolved. Sad!!

  14. Special Status? Are Anglophones special people? The government is not listening: the form of the State is really non negotiable? What is wrong with a federal system? The US practices a federal system of governance and it is ONE country. Why cant we learn? Decentralization has not worked. Let’s go back to a federal system. Quite frankly, pretending to give Anglophone special status is an insult to Anglophones in the hyper centralized system Are people up in arms asking for a special status? That is even going to reinforce the marginalization syndrome. The government has its head buried in the sand and people are dying. So very sad. Anyway, “Le Cameroun c’est vraiment le Cameroun”

  15. Greed & manipulation of Nigerian despots destroyed the country & kept it in permanent conflict. When Abacha passed on, Gen. Abubakar took over & stated that sanity must return & the games are over. After 18 months, he organized the first free elections in Nigeria & many “diaporans” returned home to invest. Nigeria became Africa’s wealthiest.
    In 1992 Jerry Rawlings decided to become a civilian, served two 4-year terms & when leaving office his party vice president was defeated by Kufor in a close elections. He handed power peacefully. Today, Ghana’s GDP is about to double Cameroon’s but just half the land area.
    Why the games, Mr. Biya and cronies? Stop the decrees & put a referendum for Cameroonians to decide on a Federation. Without this, the crisis will get worse. Release Kamto & others.

  16. Paul Biya Oyeee, That is a good start

  17. Now he should release the other leaders, organise a fair election, hand over power and we can have some new direction

    • Thank you. That’s where the truth lies. This man has never won an election. Even in his prime Jerry Rawlings (now 72) won the 1996 elections with fifty some odd %. How about this Etudi infidel? 73% after losing in Centre and Littoral and no votes in NW & SW? This man is pure evil, real Satan.
      His enablers have pushed the nation over a cliff, Kamto seems to be a new threat to a greedy despot. The fact that this crook fears his incarceration means he must ride the ship to wreckage.
      Kabila is just 48 but handed power to the opposition when his party was defeated.
      I have always stood for Federation and I supported Kamto and Osih and wished there was a coalition but I will never stand with a despot.
      Despots with lifelong rulership always leave chaos or continued dictatorship. LEAVE BIYA!!

  18. Special Status ??? Well according to the 1996 constitution, Article 61 (2) – Grants the President the powers to: Change the name of regions; Modify the geographical boundaries of such; and to create other regions as well as to name them. This is worst than currently exist and signifies nothing innovative about the GND process. In addition, they say the problems began in 2016, with the Teachers and Lawyer demands, yet they want to revert to the name (of the country) that prevailed before 1984 – the United Republic of Cameroon. I wonder why. This is further indication that they are just dancing around the problem with no interest in resolving it. The root cause must be addressed in order to cause a return to peace.

  19. Chief Mukete, sat there a second time to see his own sold off. My self politics
    from day one.

  20. These Lpc people think we are joking. They think we can be manipulated. No, the struggle will continue. They have forgotten that more than 3000 people have Lost their Lives. Then you come here and talk of special status? Its just the beginning of their Frustrations….we will not give up…Indepence is coming. Let us be more coorperative and reenforce the resistance.

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