By Amos Fofung
Leaders of Southern Cameroon liberation movements affiliated under the various pressure groups and armed wings championing the fight for secession or restoration of the statehood of former British Southern Cameroons have insisted that they are not part of the grand national dialogue called by Cameroon’s head of state, President Paul Biya on September 10.
In two separate press release sent to our newsroom, the leaders of the Southern Cameroon Liberation Council, SCLC, a coalition of the various groupings and another from Ambazonia Coalition Team, ACT, a unified politico-military platform created to negotiate on terms on separating with Cameroon were unanimous in their message; the national dialogue is a “no event”.
According to the release from the Ambazonia Coalition Team penned Sunday September 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux the leaders from Ambazonia International Policy Commission, African People’s Liberation Movement, Federation of Southern Cameroons Women Organization, Interim Government, Movement for the restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons, Republic of Ambazonia Nationalists, Southern Cameroons Congress of the People, Southern Cameroon’s National Council, The Republic of Ambazonia and those from the Southern Cameroon Liberation Movement stated that they are well ready to engage in the first face-to-face talk “on the modalities of the negotiations whenever La Republic du Cameroun is Ready”.
Acknowledging that they are very much aware of the huge humanitarian effect of the war on Southern Cameroonians back home, they stated their engagement with international humanitarian organizations to continue facilitating relief materials to the millions affected by the 3-year struggle.
In the same vain, the Southern Cameroon Liberation Council in its communique signed by leaders from The Consortium, SCNC, RoAN, APLM, MoRISC, FSCWO, and the Interim Government all floored the national dialogue called in view of resolving the crisis in the North West and South West regions describing it “one comedy too much, meant to distract international attention.”
The release reads; “we like to recall that dictator Paul Biya who has over the last three years been in total denial of the existence of a Southern Cameroons Question, a denial he doubled down on in his Tuesday September 10 address, has seen so much international pressure to embrace third-party mediated peace negotiations lately. The so-called grand national dialogue is simply an attempt to pose as wanting dialogue, while setting pitfalls for Southern Cameroonians “invited to attend” in order to turn around and try to fool the world that our people were not interested in dialogue.”
“The décor being erected is a repeat of the 1991 tripartite conference at which Southern Cameroonians were so sidelined and treated as one of the many tribes of La République du Cameroun that, angered, late Statesman John N. Foncha dropped out and later resigned definitely from the CPDM Party in protest. Nothing has changed ever since, and nothing indicates that anything is about to change.
According to the release, President Paul Biya has never been a man of dialogue and has pursue cosmetic solutions to serious problems throughout his time as head of state.
“When the people asked for a sovereign national conference, he opened the doors to a tripartite conference at which he alone named the stakeholders, decided the agenda, and downloaded resolutions in advance. When protests intensified, he talked about a “Grand Débat”, turned it later to “Large débat” and drowned all those in brutal repression until the people resigned to their fate. He thinks this is the same scenario and that is why Paul Biya has created his “die-logue” committee, appointed delegates for both sides, decided on an agenda, set pre-conditions and literally the resolutions,” the release reads.