Open Letter to: Hon. Luigi Di Maio, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Social Policies.
From: A Collective of Anglophone Cameroonians in the Diaspora and in Cameroon.
Dear Hon. Di Maio,
We, a collective of Africans from Southern Cameroons, the English-speaking part of Cameroon, which is going through a bloody civil war and refugee crisis, followed with interest, your widely-disseminated remarks to the effect that:
“The EU should sanction France and all countries like France that impoverish Africa and make these people leave, because Africans should be in Africa, not at the bottom of the Mediterranean” (BBC, London, January 21, 2019).
We have the honor to state that we totally agree with your sentiments. Since 1960, France has been instrumental in propping up the Ahidjo-Biya dictatorial regimes in Cameroon in accordance with neo-colonial military, economic, cultural, political, and financial agreements that benefit France. The Anglophone current crisis in Cameroon is linked to French attempts to assimilate English-speaking Cameroonians into the Francophone postcolonial sphere. Declassified correspondence between the French Consul in Buea, the capital of Southern Cameroon, the French Ambassador in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and the French Foreign Ministry in Paris show that France has desired to assimilate our State into la Francophonie since 1962. It is no secret that the peoples of Francophone Africa are some of the poorest and most destitute people on earth, while their natural resources are exploited to enrich France and its hand-picked African despots.
Hon. Luigi Di Maio,
In 2016, lawyers and teachers in the natural resource-rich, English-speaking Anglophone Southern Cameroon demonstrated against their marginalization and impoverishment by the Francophone regime which serves the interests of France. From his luxurious presidential suite at the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva Switzerland, President Biya, who has been in power for 36 years, declared war on unarmed civilian demonstrations on October 1, 2017. Leaked military records show that helicopter gunships fired French-made fragmentation bombs on unarmed civilians, killing scores of them. The crisis has since degenerated into a major human rights catastrophe and refugee crisis.
According to human rights observers, the French-supplied Cameroun army has attacked and burned down more than 100 villages, killed thousands of civilians. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that more than 50, 000 Southern Cameroon refugees have so far crossed into Nigeria, while more than 200,000 people are internally displaced. The number of refugees is increasing as the French Cameroun army, using French military equipment and guided by French drones, are carrying out crimes against humanity in Southern Cameroon. Many of these refugees and displaced people will soon find their way to Europe.
Hon. Luigi Di Maio,
On May 20th 2018, French President, Emmanuel Macron, wrote to President Biya offering support for his war and repression in Anglophone Cameroon. Shortly thereafter, President Macron sent Hon. Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, French Secretary of State in the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs to Cameroon, and specifically to the resource-rich Anglophone region, to demonstrate French support for President Biya’s atrocities and crimes against humanity. French, Chinese and Israeli military equipment is being used to kill innocent civilians on a daily basis. The flood of refugees has increased and there is no end in sight to the conflict.
Hon. Luigi Di Maio
We are appreciative of the fact that you have courageously pinpointed one of the causes of African crises, poverty, and underdevelopment. History will show that you are correct. With its colonial military and economic cooperation agreements, its colonial currency, the CFA, and its support for repressive post-colonial dictators who protect its interests on the African continent, France is part of the African problem.
Hon. Luigi Di Maio, thank you for speaking out.
Please accept the expression of our highest consideration.
The Collective of English-Speaking Cameroonians in the Diaspora and in Cameroon.