Scotland Calls On Gov’t To Urgently Initiate Dialogue

Paul Biya and Patricia Scotland at the Unity Palace

The government of Cameroon has been urged to urgently initiate dialogue so as to curb the ongoing crisis in the two Anglophone Regions of Cameroon.

The Secretary General of Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, made the call last December 22 during a press conference marking the end of her five days official visit to Cameroon.

Presenting her balance for the past five days in Cameroon, the Secretary General said after listening to the various political parties in Cameroon, religious leaders, youths and the civil society organisations, everything boiled down to dialogue which should be initiated immediately.

Here her, “I had the great opportunity and privilege of speaking to the Prime Minister, sharing with him all the things that have ben shared with me all these days and I think initiating dialogue is needed seriously. Government now has to consider what they wish to do as we go forward but most importantly, we need to be committed,” Patricia Scotland said.

According to the Commonwealth scribe, her only hope is that, there will be a beginning of a more intense, inclusive comprehensive but certainly a peaceful dialogue.

To her, “each participant in the dialogue need to listen to the other and if we listen, we may be able to understand the problem. I hope that as the parties go through the dialogue, they will develop a capacity to work in each other shoes so they can see the issue from the other person’s point of view because when you do that, you sometimes have a greater capacity to understand why the person on the other side thinks the way he or she thinks. Sharing enables you to come up with a solution that many of you may not have thought.”

While stressing that violence has never been a suitable or lasting solution to any crisis, Patricia Scotland said, the dialogue process should be a Cameroonian dialogue which involves everyone. She also said, it is left for the people of Cameroon to decide on the shape, the content and who should participate.

Without press-conditions, Patricia Scotland explained that the most important thing for people of Cameroon is to come together having an open mind and be honest and engaged in serious dialogue that only peace is needed at the end of the exercise.

Echoing that Cameroon have to decide what dialogue to initiate, she reiterated that dialogue needs to be based on promise of fairness.

“it is left on Cameroon to initiate the type of dialogue they want but they must find a path way which is peaceful, inclusive, substantive and honours the human rights of every single individual. Dialogue has to be based on promise of fairness,” She stated.

The Secretary General however said, during her visit in Cameroon, she meet with talented and lovely Cameroonians who spoke to her frankly, openly and in a very constructive way. Going by her, they discussed about the 1996 Constitution of Cameroon which provided for decentratlisation to kick off as well as the process and the speed at which it has gone.

Quest to know how the Commonwealth interns to used the report gathered to help resolve the ongoing crisis, Patricia Scotland stated that through a number of wonderful Cameroonian people working as part of the organisation, they will continue to work together seeking advice from other members so as to make Cameroon remain a beautiful nation since joining the organisation in 1995.

She added that if Cameroon feels that Commonwealth can assist technically or by participating in the peace process, they stand ready to come and help.

Before leaving Cameroon at 11:30pm that day, the Common Scribe admitted that her five days visit in Cameroon permitted her to present the Chattered of the Commonwealth signed by her Majesty, the Queen in 2013 to the president of Cameroon as well as having the privilege of understanding more of Cameroon history.

Besides the 250 different languages in the country, she came to know that long before Cameroon became the German, French of British, it was just Cameroonian, and all Cameroonian people were one, one city, one nation and undivided.

Contrary to rumours of being pushed by the opposition to visit the Anglophone region to see and experience things for herself, Patricia Scotland said, on her first day in Cameroon, Paul Biya gave her the lee way to visit Buea and other areas in Cameroon.

Above all, she called on all stakeholders during her meeting to pray for Cameroon handing all the difficulties of the nation to God for perfect direction.

The worry that remains on every lip is what happens after this contact tour, the word dialogue had been emphasized since the crisis in the North West and South west escalated to destruction and killings.




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