13, September 2019
Cameroon Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute on Thursday held consultative talks with the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF), on national dialogue to end conflict in the two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest.
SDF First Deputy President Joshua Osih welcomed the initiative but regretted that it took “so many years” for the dialogue to be announced. “Now that the dialogue has been called, we are waiting to see what it looks like, see what is on the table, see what is to offer,” Osih said. “We are ready to give all our good assistance to make sure that this situation in the Northwest and Southwest is brought back to normal.”
Ngute said the talks are to lay the ground work for the national dialogue, which is expected by the end of September. On Tuesday, President Paul Biya, in a rare address to the nation, said the national dialogue will focus on “ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the Northwest and Southwest regions.”
Crisis has rocked the two Anglophone regions for over two years after armed separatists declared the “independence” of the regions that constitute a minority in the largely French-speaking Cameroon. Over 530,000 people have been displaced internally by the conflict, according to the United Nations.