By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, Senior Associate and Regional Director of Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) based in Washington, USA, has reiterated the fact that the ongoing crisis in Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions “may not be resolved while President Biya is still in power.”
The adjunct professor of African politics and government at Georgetown University was speaking recently with the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC.
“It is fair to say that the population in the two Regions are completely traumatized by the ongoing conflict in its fifth year. it is fair to assume that almost every person living in the English part of the country has been impacted negatively by the ongoing conflict,” Dr Christopher Fomunyoh told the presenter.
“The track record since the crisis escalated in 2017 has been quite alarming according to Dr Fomunyoh and in many respects, the incidents that have happened could be characterized as war crimes. When hospital, schools, villages are attacked; that is collective punishment for people how may have nothing to do with the ongoing fighting.”
The crisis which escalated back in 2017 has led to tens of thousands of people being displaced both internally and externally. Hundreds have been killed while villages have been burnt and schools and hospitals have been attacked.
Speaking on the stronghold of power in Cameroon by President Biya, and without mincing words, Dr Christopher Fomunyoh is unwavering that the ongoing crisis may only be resolved while President Biya is not on seat.
Dr Fomunyoh said: “…The grievances are legitimate and need to be addressed and that the root causes of this conflict need to be addressed; that the military solution is not the adequate approach to resolving the crisis. I have also concluded having watched what has been going on for the past five years that this crisis may not be resolved while President Biya is in power because I don’t see him energized.”
“I do not feel him acting the way other African heads of state have acted when they have a crisis of this magnitude in their countries. For two years now, since 2019, President Biya has not said a word about this crisis; that is not how even an African Head of State tackles a deadly conflict that is happening in their own country. That has led me to the sad conclusion that we are likely not going to resolve this crisis while he (President Biya) is still in power.”
Dr Chistopher Fomunyoh further indicated that he is not bothered by the fact that officials in Cameroon may call him out as she said: “They do not have to respond to me but the actions that are taking place on the ground; when you hear the cries, medical doctors are being attacked, you cannot help but draw the line in the sand and come to the conclusion that this conflict is long past the point of resolution.”
“Friends of Cameroon and people who still communicate with President Biya have to let him know that the country is so fragmented; that it is in worse shape now than he came to power about forty years ago.”