Sunday, 30 April 2017

Southern Cameroon Crisis ... Only the TRUTH Shall Set Us Free

The Government created a deadlock to peace talks in the current Anglophone crisis by:

1. Banning the Consortium
2. Arresting its leaders and forcing some into exile
3. Shutting down Internet in West Cameroon
4. Arresting Anglophones and detaining them in Yaounde, etc.

This, to the government, was going to solve the current crisis but it never could.

Some Teachers who posed as Leaders, called off the strike but schools never resumed!

The Prime Minister toured the seven Divisions of the North West Region, preaching a back-to-school doctrine. Schools never resumed! He was given three pre-conditions ~ by the people.

The Lawyers who started the strike were ignored as the Minister of State in Charge of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, saw hunger forcing Lawyers back to the Courts sooner than later. That was not to be the case.
Southern Cameroon Crisis ... Only the TRUTH Shall Set Us Free
Now that the government has failed with the Teachers, they are again with the Lawyers and their hangman in the process is the President of the Cameroon Bar Council, Bâtonnier Jackson Ngnie Kamga, who announced two weeks ago that Lawyers in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon will resume Court business on the 02.05.2017. He must be a magician!

When the Justice Minister made a press outing on the 30.03.2017, and announced a number of promises “by the head of state”, the President of the Cameroon Bar Council immediately went to the North West and South West Regions to cajole Common Law Lawyers back to the courts since, according to him, the government had shown a lot of good faith in satisfying their demands. He was given the same three pre-conditions for dialogue to resume.

What are the three pre-conditions?
1. Re-instate Internet in the North West and South West Regions.
2. Release ALL Anglophones arrested and detained in Yaounde or other detention facilities in Cameroon.
3. Demilitarize the North West and South West Regions.

Instead of working hard to get the government satisfy the three pre-conditions, Bâtonnier Ngnie Kamga created a “… Conclave of 20 Lawyers from the South West and North West Regions…” While Lawyers were waiting for the resolutions of that ‘Conclave’ that met twice in Bamenda and Buea, Bâtonnier Ngnie Kamga announced the end of Common Law Lawyers strike!

Over a week ago, the UN Representative in an interview in Yaounde, called on the government of Cameroon to reinstate Internet and release ALL those detained as a result of the present crisis.

In the evening of Thursday April 20, 2017, Internet was re-instated in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon “upon the firm instructions of the head of state”.

This means that one of the three pre-conditions has been satisfied. Remainder two.

I now exhort the Head of State to order the unconditional release of ALL those arrested as a result of the present crisis. As commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, to order all soldiers back to their respective barracks ~ so that dialogue could resume wherefore a lasting solution to the Anglophone problem in Cameroon could be found.

The Common Law Lawyers started the strike on 11.10.2016. Teachers’ Trade Unions followed on 21.11.2016. Then, the entire people of West Cameroon joined.

To say that a satisfaction of the demands of Common Law Lawyers, and Teachers, can end the strike is like chewing bitter leaves and saying that they are sweet!

Anglophones are marginalized. Anglophones are unhappy in this union and we need to ask ourselves where we are coming from and where we are going to.

The current crisis will not end by getting a handful of people on the streets of West Cameroon to march against ghost towns but by being the Christians that we ought to be and speak the truth in meaningful dialogue.

Only the TRUTH shall set us FREE!

ShuSheey Barrister Joseph W. AKUWIYADZE,
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