Monday, 17 April 2017

The Anglophone Problem: Biya Plays the Tortoise, Things Go from Bad to Worse

It is said that a suicidal pessimist is a person who, of two evils, chooses both. Biya was slammed by the UN this week for violating the human rights of Anglophones. Jeune Afrique reported that the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, called Biya to have a chat on the Anglophone problem after a visit to Cameroon by the UN representative for the Central Africa region, Mr. Fall. Biya refused to take the call of the UN Secretary General. Unprecedented uncivilized behavior.


The events of this past week demonstrate that Paul Biya goes beyond the suicidal pessimist. When the Anglophone uprising began, Biya had two choices: take decisive steps to bring about change or ignore the cries of the people. Like the proverbial ostrich, he buried his head in the sand, declared that there was no Anglophone problem, and unleashed a reign of terror on Southern Cameroonians who were airing their grievances. On his orders, the Cameroonian military and police killed, raped, maimed, and arrested men, women and children. Biya detained the leaders of the Consortium. Biya cut off the Internet in Southern Cameroon, and headed off to relax and receive medical treatment in his first country, Switzerland.
The Anglophone Problem: Biya Plays the Tortoise, Things Go from Bad to Worse
While Biya's head was buried in the sand, the wind exposed his political nakedness. The Anglophone's have decisively won the war of communication against Biya and Issa Tchiroma. The Anglophone problem has gone global. Biya and his regime are roundly condemned around the world. The latest blow came from the United Nations, which slammed his dictatorial ways, and essentially ordered him to solve the problem whose existence he denies.

When violence and oppression did not shake the resolve of Anglophones, Biya chose the second evil: He decided to play the tortoise. He has curled up in his little French post-colonial shell, cowering in fear. He sent first his Minister of "Justice," Laurent Esso, and then the president (batonnier) of the Cameroon Bar Association, Ngnie Kamga, to play dirty tricks with some blatantly deceptive "reform decisions." The aim was to hoodwink the public, hoping that the Anglophone problem would go away, while the leaders of the Consortium languish in jail. Those deceptive efforts failed miserably.

The end result of Biya playing games with Cameroon is that the situation has become worse, and worsens by the day. As the mismanaged entity called "Cameroon" lurches toward a break-up, the ailing 84 year-old Biya is still tucked in his tortoise shell, doing nothing. Stubborn dictators never get it until it is too late. I fear we will soon reach a point of no return in this crisis. That is when La Republique du Cameroun returns to its borders of 1960.

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