14, January 2017
Consortium says it will not negotiate with Yaounde until all detainees are released and a referendum organized without further delay 1
The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium says it will not negotiate with the Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo government until all Anglophone detainees are released and a referendum organized without further delay so that Southern Cameroonians can effectively return to a two state federation.
The decision was made public earlier today Saturday the 14th of January following the failure of a meeting grouping the Consortium and the so-called Ad Hoc Committee dominated by Francophone members of government. The Anglophone leaders have announced a massive civil disobedience campaign from Monday the 16th of January to Tuesday the 17th 2017.
The Yaoundé regime observed that it was ready to begin a dialogue with stakeholders in Southern Cameroons, a region which has suffered persistent Francophone militarization and marginalization ever since reunification in 1961. Since 2016, the Francophone government of President Paul Biya which has carried out a spate of attacks on Southern Cameroon citizens announced to the international community that it was involved in some kind of negotiations with British Southern Cameroonians.
However, the government has continued its campaign of arresting and torturing West Cameroonians many of who are been ferried to jails in East Cameroun. A senior officer in the Francophone dominated police institution confirmed on Wednesday that many Anglophones arrested in Muntengene and Mile 16 in Buea have been transferred to Douala and Yaounde. A source hinted our Yaounde bureau chief that military operations could resume if Southern Cameroonians did not respond to requests made by the members of the Francophone Ad Hoc Committee.
The two-week negotiations between the Consortium and the Ad Hoc Committee was such that all academic establishments in British Southern Cameroons could reopen in the region. With no breakthrough recorded so far in the process, the Anglophone leaders have decisively acted as demanded by the population and ghost town operations will begin again on Monday the 16th of January.
The Francophone regime launched its first attack on Southern Cameroons in 2016 killing many in Kumba, Buea, Bamenda and Kumbo. The Biya regime appears to have support from the French embassy in Yaounde which is campaigning against secession of British Southern Cameroons. Southern Cameroons existed as an independent state with a Prime Minister immediately after the Eastern Regional Crisis of 1953 in the Federal Republic of Nigeria before reunification with French Cameroun.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with files from Rita Akana and Sama Ernest