September 14, 2022 – The chief envoy on the Swiss Led Mediation, Ret. Amb. Gunther Bachler informed the Ambazonia Coalition Team (ACT) that it is ending its efforts toward brokering peace in the nearly six (6) yearlong war in Southern Cameroons.
This past August, President Biya of La Republique du Cameroun ordered a fresh deployment of special forces to what he called it’s Northwest and Southwest Regions in a bid to secure an all-out victory and quell what he described as “terrorists”. The international community’s position on Biya is to engage in dialogue without pre-conditions to end the violence.
Despite earlier backing dialogue with armed groups, Biya now asserts in a phone conversation with the President of the Swiss Federation, Ignazio Cassis, that a military victory will do. And that the Swiss should instead support his 2019 Grand National Dialogue (GND) as the only pathway to peace. For this Biya has rejected the potential for peace recommended by the international community.
WPPJ registers its disappointment at the end of the Swiss Led Mediation, noting President Paul Biya of Cameroun’s disdain for 3rd party international talks to end the 6-year running war he created. We note how Mr. Biya has for nearly four (4) years used the Swiss peace initiative as a smokescreen to prepare, plan, and launch its invasion and continued acts of aggression toward the peaceful people of Southern Cameroons.
WPPJ regrettably notes again that La Republique du Cameroun has never been interested in justice nor a positive peaceful settlement of the crisis. WPPJ through its representatives in the Ambazonia Coalition Team (Team Ambazonia) was briefed by the Swiss Envoy, the Ret. Amb. Gunther Bachler. Earlier in March 2022, while meeting with members of the USIP, Amb. Gunther had stated that the Swiss Foreign Department is considering clarifying its mandate. Yesterday, we learned that Mr. Paul Biya of La Republique du Cameroun officially suspends its participation in the Swiss-Led Peace Process, and instead called upon the Swiss to use their good offices in assisting Cameroun in its Grand National Dialogue and objectives even as his efforts have been resoundingly described as a failed endeavor.
WPPJ notes that since the conclusion of Mr, Biya’s GND and the institution of a “Special Status” for his “Anglophone” regions, the status quo has not changed. Instead, in August 2022, Mr. Biya deployed more troops into the region to combat what he calls “terrorists.” There has been increased fighting in the hinterlands far from the glaring lens of the media largely disinterested in a war in another African country. All eyes are on the Ukraine-Russian war. There continues to be massive displacement of civilians following the scorching of entire villages. And where houses are spared, the ongoing gun battles with the armed groups drive inhabitants into militarized urban centers where there they are yet again faced with arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, and killings.
As the sole custodian of their process, not the Swiss nor the “Friends of the Swiss Contact Group” with the EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, as chairperson has yet to issue a statement following President Paul Biya’s quit notice to the Swiss Led Peace initiative and policy to seek a military solution in Southern Cameroons. For the Swiss, they claim they have not been instrumentalized by anyone, noting they will stay engaged.
The international community, mainly, the US, Canada, Belgium, Germany, and UK, cannot say they supported the Swiss-led peace process yet are seen also supporting Mr. Boya’s failed GND as this is a conflict of interest. Should the Swiss or its friends of the Swiss Led Process ascend to Mr. Biya’s call to support it, then they all have been “instrumentalized” and are supporting the war effort in Southern Cameroons, an undertaking we know is unwinnable, acts of betrayal and breaches of international laws and conventions.
The window to avert a bigger war, one that is not only limited to the Southern Cameroons is closing. The much neglected “Anglophone Crisis,” – perhaps the most neglected in the world, sooner rather than later will demand all of our full attention. The truth, for now, remains that Southern Cameroonian’s legitimate rights to sovereignty then in the 60s and it is today in war times have never been taken seriously by those who maintain world order. Sadly, history teaches that an ideology is like a many-headed hydra and quite difficult to kill.
WPPJ joins the people of Southern Cameroons in thanking Team Ambazonia, ACT, for its steadfastness and the work done in internationalizing the plight of our families at home. ACT remains the standing body committed to good faith 3rd party negotiations without pre-conditions even as La Republique du Cameroun continues to get a pass from the international community.
The issues of accountability and justice remain our focus for WPPJ.
*Source Women for Permanent Peace and Justice-WPPJ