By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- Coming straight after this week, Cameroon’s government will organize an event it has named as a ‘National Dialogue’ on the separatist crisis in its Northwest and Southwest regions.
Apparently, U S and Europe, based separatist leaders invited to the dialogue say, they will not take part in any dialogue unless it is held outside Cameroon with non-Cameroonians as mediators. In this regard, the government of Cameroon has declared that; it will not entertain a foreign mediator.
This dialogue on the separatist crisis is due to commence on Monday the 30th September, 2019 in Yaoundé. The government says, it has invited more than 1,000 people including lawmakers, clergy, teachers and civil society activists.
Eric Tataw based in the U S who is one of the separatists that is intended to turn down the invitation of the dialogue said, he will not attend because he and other separatists based in the diaspora are wanted in Cameroon in charges of secession and terrorism.
Those are the same charges for which separatist leader Ayuk Tabe Julius and ten others were and sentenced to life in prison by a Yaoundé military tribunal. Tataw is emphasizing that; Cameroon should free Julius and the ten separatist collaborators to demonstrate sign of a real dialogue.
“I have told them categorically clear that, let them release all detainees and then start discussing with them and then from there, we will know if the president of Cameroon is serious to have dialogue or not”, Tataw noted.
Fighting in Northwest and Southwest of Cameroon has killed more than 2,000 people since hostilities broke out two years ago. English speaking armed groups in those regions went to break away from the rest of Cameroon and its French speaking majority.
It is believed that, some separatists via social media that, they want the dialogue to take place either in Switzerland or Ivory Coast, under the supervision of world powers like the U S, Germany and Britain and in the presence of the United Nations.
George Ewane, Spokesperson of the National dialogue, says Cameroon’s President – Paul Biya has ruled out the possibility of inviting a foreign mediators – some nations that have offered to mediate, he says have not stopped Cameroonians in the diasporas from financially sponsoring violence back home. “Some make the propositions in good faith,” he said.
“Now let us ask a question. Are Cameroonians unable to solve their own problems to the extent of seeking a foreign mediation? The answer is an emphatic no. International mediation is not necessary”.
Emane did not name the countries he has referring to but last July, the Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon, Pietro Lazzeri, announced his country was helping the Camerron’s government negotiate with the rebels.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent