11, December 2017
The world is witnessing the birth of new powerful nation-the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. Yes, but not in the sense the French government and French Cameroun political elites had hoped. The people of Southern Cameroons have moved away from La Republique du Cameroun in the midst of a fierce war between Southern Cameroons armed militants and forces loyal to the regime in Yaoundé.
Instead of disempowering the people of Southern Cameroons and its sponsor, the Diaspora, the war declared by President Paul Biya has only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the “Interim Government,” a power bloc that includes Southern Cameroonian groups in Southern Africa, East and Western Europe, Asia, the Arab world, USA and Canada including the Scandinavian countries.
But the Biya war declaration is only one in a series of developments that significantly transformed the geopolitical structure in Southern Cameroons—from the banning of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, which first opened the door to greater Anglophone unity, to shutting down of internet services in West Cameroon which led to the proliferation and empowerment of Ambazonians . These Biya regime actions have prompted a fundamental reconfiguration of the contemporary Cameroon order. Needless to mention the brutal killings of hundreds of Southern Cameroonians by the French Cameroun army.
Francophone political elites, grappling with the consequences of an eroding French Cameroun state system, poor governance, and excessive use of military force enabled Southern Cameroonians and its powerful Diaspora to build a new political and security architecture from the ground up. With the current onslaught on the people of Southern Cameroons by the Francophone dominated army, Southern Cameroons armed movements are slowly but surely creating a transnational, multi-ethnic, and cross-confessional political and security network that will make the Ambazonian resistance more muscular and effective than ever before.
The most important issue that the new French Cameroun administration after Biya will face will be the rise of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia and given the deterioration of the regional security order and presidential elections in Cameroun, Nigeria including Equatorial Guinea not far away, the question is what to do about it. So far, policy discussions have focused on keeping Biya in power which may end up in a full scale civil war. Engaging the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia and discuss the terms of separation is the wise thing to do by whosoever in running the think tank in Yaoundé.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai