Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Cameroon: "President Paul Biya Must Be Brought Before The ICC For Crimes Against Humanity"

In the courtyard of his villa in Bamenda, epicenter city of Anglophone protest, John Fru Ndi receives, grave face. The "chairman" of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), the main opposition party in Cameroon , said that it "has done everything to draw attention to this crisis that has been preparing for years ". 

At 76, the historic opponent of Cameroon has aged. His word is no longer heard as much as in 1990, when his party was created, when he raised whole crowds all over the national territory. But since the beginning of the anglophone crisis in October 2016, he has increased calls and interviews to say the ill-being of this region of which he is a native.

In February, he took advantage of an invitation from the President of the Republic after the indomitable Lions, the Cameroonian football team, in January to the African Cup of Nations to remind him of the urgency of the situation . In vain. In this interview, John Fru Ndi asserts that it is " too late" . "Paul Biya did not listen to me. Everything got worse, " the old opponent regrets.
Cameroon: "President Paul Biya Must Be Brought Before The ICC For Crimes Against Humanity"
Sunday 1 st of October, young women and Anglophone regions took to the streets to proclaim their "independence" symbolic. Police forces responded with tear gas and live bullets. Amnesty Internationaland official sources report an initial record of 17 people killed.

How did you live this Sunday day?
John Fru Ndi When the young people wanted to go down the streets, I gave them my blessing. I had seen things happen . They could be avoided . Remember, I begged Paul Biya. At the Etoudi Palace in February, when Paul Biya greeted me, I pulled his hand towards me. I told him: "Mr. President, if you can pay money to free the hostages and negotiate with Boko Haram , you can also forgive your own people. " But he did not listen. Instead, I was accused of wanting to prevent "criminals"[English-speakers] arrested.

You saw what happened yesterday [1 st October] ? In every corner they thought inaccessible, the young people began to walk , even in the village of Minister Elvis Ngolle Ngolle. People were no longer afraid. You think I'm happy? No, and Mr. Biya is the only cause of all this.

When the English took to the streets, the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) party in power , organized marches in eight of the ten regions of Cameroon to brag unity and peace ...

This is what happens in my country and I condemn the idea that members of the CPDM Central Bureau, members of the Senate, the National Assembly meet instead of seeking a solution. That is why anglophones cry and say every day that there are no laws in Cameroon. I was very pleased with the marches of the young Anglophones. For if your father will not listen to you, you must fight yourself.

You are for the independence of the anglophone party?
What to do when your father hits you and pushes you out of the house? When other members of your family are also pushing you out? In eight regions of the country, government officials marched against Anglophones. That means they say, "We do not need you. Go on! " Our young people sang " Home again, home again " . I did not go out for the walk, but I also sang.

The national television announces eight deaths while protesters speak about thirty. Do you have an accurate assessment?
There is confusion with the figures. Some were injured by bullets and were transported by the police . It is unknown whether they died and were taken to the morgue or whether they are in the hospital. Nobody knows the exact balance yet. Let us assume that only eight "only" persons were dead: Mr Biya was to condemn him . Has he done it? Did he condemn the violence of the police who fired live ammunition at unarmed demonstrators?

Did you hear that the demonstrators shot at the police? That they got out of the machetes? They were young men and women who were disarmed. Who gave the order to shoot and kill those people? I believe that Mr Biya must be brought to the International Criminal Court and that he must be tried for crimes against humanity.

Since the beginning of the crisis in 2016, discussions with the government have not been successful.  The situation is getting worse. What are the solutions ?
I will not waste my time making proposals to you. I told you that I pulled Paul Biya's hand at the Etoudi palace and spoke to him. I was angry and had blood in my eyes. When things started, I talked to people about this anger across Cameroon. You, the journalists, said, "Mr. Fru Ndi, if you say that, it means that you plan something. " I was planning anything. It's just that as a politician on the ground, used to rubbing shoulders with the people, I felt it.

It's all in Mr. Biya's hands. It is determined, like the members of the CPDM, to destroy this country. Look at this city. When Paul Biya made his first visit there, more than thirty years ago, he said he would personally oversee the construction of the road. Look at the road that leads to my house. If you are pregnant, you will lose your child before you arrive. What are we talking about? Of this regime which can not keep its promises? It's too late. www.lemonde.fr

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