Ambazonian-Americans’ political calculus 2022-2024
By Benson Ngang Tita, Texas
Donald Trump’s presidency left an indelible mark on Ambazonia’s journey to independence. Trump’s administration constantly pressurized Biya to respect the human rights of Ambazonians. For example, Trump suspended American military assistance to Cameroon, terminated Cameroon’s AGOA membership, withdrew American soldiers from Cameroon, and Congress passed many resolutions urging the Biya government to stop violating human rights in Ambazoniaa.
Tibor Nagy constantly twitted, granted interviews, and traveled to Cameroon, forcing Biya and his supporters to cry foul. Biya was under pressure and rushed to organize the Grand National Dialogue that bore no fruit. Besides the Trump administration, the European Union Parliament issued statements and passed resolutions on Biya’s human rights conduct in Ambazonia. Since Trump left office, the international community has gone silent, but Biya’s rage continues.
Considering the rhetoric in American politics, most Ambazonian-Americans believed that Biden or a democrat would positively represent American foreign policy in Africa and Ambazonia. Many thought Biden will immediately prioritize and oppose Biya’s excessive human rights violations in Ambazonia. Such gestures would have rightfully pressured Biya to make more concessions. Since Biden replaced Trump, American focus on Biya’s extreme human rights violations in Ambazonian has slowed. Biya seems more comfortable and settled in his approach. Francophones and Biya supporters have increased their rhetoric and calls for more violence. The international check and balance the Trump administration provided is gone.
American foreign policy towards Biya changed. Biden’s interests have shifted from Ambazonia to homosexuality. Ambazonian-Americans hoped Biden would recognize and prioritize the heinous human rights violations Biya continues inflicting on Ambazonians and pressure him to make concessions. Biden’s administration granted Cameroonians temporary protected status, enabling Cameroonians and Ambazonians to remain in the United States even if their visas ran out. Biden’s strong focus on Africa and Cameroon is on homosexuality. As proof that Biden’s policy towards Biya focused on homosexuality, his ambassador to Cameroon is a homosexual. In diplomacy, the receiving state can reject an appointee they disagree with. Biya could object to such an appointee because he violates Cameroon’s laws.
In his speech to the United Nations in September of 2021, when defending his global policy on spreading homosexuality, Biden specifically criticized Cameroon’s crackdown on homosexuals and lesbians. Biden campaigned as “Mr. Human Rights and Proper American Foreign Policy”. He vowed to restore American values, including the respect and defense of human rights and America’s globalist foreign policy. Ambazonians expected him to prioritize Biya’s genocide. Unfortunately, almost two years into his mandate, Ambazonians are still waiting for some decisive action that will give hope of foreign support or recognition.
Foreign support or recognition is the cornerstone of an independence journey. The calm and serenity with which the Biya administration is conducting business in Ambazonia do not reflect the gravity of the genocide. Could Ambazonian-Americans be responsible for America’s reduced engagement in Ambazonia? Ambazonians did not expect much from Trump, yet he appears to have delivered more than Biden. As the midterm and presidential elections draw nearer, it is time for Ambazonian-Americans to do their political calculus. Nothing is sure about the next elections, but Tibor Nagy’s frank communication and overtures indicate that Ambazonians would have an inroad into the American government if Trump or someone from the GOP wins the next presidential elections. Or if Republicans secure a majority in Congress. It comes down to communicating through Ambazonia’s recognized friends.
Political calculus: there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies in politics. Only interests remain permanent.