Angophone Crisis: Gov’t Dispatches SOS Team to US

A roadblock with placard during recent streets decrying Anglophone marginilization[ BamendaOnline Pictures]

Three members of government will travel to the United States this week following the content of a letter sent by the Prime Minister Philemon Yang to Ambassador Tommo Monthe, Cameroon’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

The Director of Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s office, Ghogomu Paul Mingo, former cabinet minister and Director of the CPDM Academy Elvis Ngolle Ngolle and the technical adviser to the Prime Minister's office, Professor Fabien Nkot, will travel to the United States from the 3rd to 9th of August 2017.

According to the letter, their mission is to provide Cameroonians living in the US and the American authorities, clarification on the situation prevailing in the Northwest and South-West Regions of the country.

The US has recently taken some interest in the crisis with some members of Senate writing to the State Department to look into human right abuses by the Cameroon government on its Anglophone community.

President Biya with this latest offensive intends to swell the Diaspora and international opinion towards government’s side in the crisis which it believe has been greatly shaped up to now by the views of the Cameroonian Anglophone community abroad.

The crisis which started with a lawyers strike and then a teachers’ strike in November 2016 is showing no signs of weakening. The government has so far put up a nonchalant altitude towards the crisis, with the vain hope of time taking away the stink out of the disgruntled Anglophone community’s anger.

Before reaching this dead end, the government had taken some measures in addressing the crisis. The creation of a national commission on bilingualism, the announced recruitment of 1000 bilingual teachers,  creation of an English division in ENAM, the redeployment of contested French teachers  and magistrates in some English schools and courts and the release of some detained Anglophones arrested in the heat of the crisis.

These moves have been greeted as insufficient by some and others continue to hold on to their rage, citing mistrust of the administration as a reason. A majority of Anglophones continue to maintain that if the strike leaders and others arrested and detained in Yaoundé because of the crisis are not released, there may never be genuine dialogue and reconciliation. There are still loud calls for a federal system of government as a solution to the crisis. While this call is echoed at one end, at the other end are many pushing for separation as the best way out.

It is in this atmosphere of unease that President Paul Biya sends these trusted lieutenants to the United Nations to take stock of the situation abroad and try to find a way to resolve this socio-political imbroglio which has all the signs of a prolonged conflict that may greatly affect the very foundation of

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