In a briefing paper published June 6, 2018, the UK House of Commons Library has issued series of notes to what it describes as ”The Anglophone Cameroon Crisis’. To them, the briefing paper could serve as a prerequisite for lawmakers in the UK Parliament to act more vigorously and understand the conflict in the Cameroons.
Being the former colonial power of the Southern Cameroons-Ambazonia, members of the diaspora community who hail from the Federal Republic of Ambazonia look up to the British government for having certain responsibilities towards former subjects of the United Kingdom. To Southern Cameroonians, Britain has an unfinished business in helping to decolonize her former trust territory called Southern Cameroons.
The briefing paper did mentioned the following under content 5 in what it termed ” Response from Western Governments”
- Previous UK governments since Southern Cameroons’ independence have grappled with the idea of “secession” But have nonetheless called for ”peaceful dialogue” but fell short of providing a concrete solution to thoroughly address the dissatisfied and aggrieved people who’ve been in a failed concubinage for almost six decades. They have failed to take a position on what best institutionalized arrangement is good for “Anglophone Cameroonians”
- Since the start of 2018, members of the international community, including the UK government have somewhat engaged directly to bring an end to spread of violence. The United State, European Union, France and Equatorial Guinea have all called for ”dialogue” as a solution to the conflict.
- Harriet Balwin MP, Africa Affairs Minister of the Consecutive-led government under Prime Minister May was in the Cameroons between February 13-14, during her trip, she urged the de-escalation of the crisis and advised the engagement in dialogue. She met with civil society organizations, rights groups, members of La Republique’s government, met with traditional rulers.
While touring and engaging with various groups on the ground, Ms, Balwin had this to say ”As a long-standing friend and Commonwealth partner, the UK wants to see urgent steps taken on all sides to de-escalate current tensions. President Biya’s announcement in his New Year speech of steps to rebuild trust, resume dialogue, and allow decentralization are a welcome start” she adds. ”Cameroonians need to come together to talk and to secure a peaceful resolution”. Four months since her visit and more than six months since the colonial president made those end-of-year remarks, they are yet to be implemented. Besides the people of Ambazonia have duly rejected any form of decentralisation or Union with Cameroun.
The position of the UK government has not changed, the paper mentioned. Several other officials have reiterated the same stance since then. The paper went on to say that the UK has offered a helping hand to resolve the crisis through its good offices but acknowledges that such assistance could only go into force should La Republique formally request it.
The paper also informed UK MPs that in mid may, the US Ambassador to Cameroon, Peter Barlerin accused the Cameroun government of targeted killings thought the US government still continues to support Cameroun fight against Boko Haram by providing weapons and other services to Cameroun soldiers, a position which has been condemned my many as Cameroun continues to engage in huge human rights abuses.
BaretaNews shall bring more sections of this briefing paper as we dissect and analyse the different contents for the understanding of our people.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst