Proposal to End the War in Cameroon (I)

By Dr. Nfor N Susungi (Chairman of the Economy Group of  the AGC)

1.0  I read with great interest the statement that was published by Prime Minister Peter Musonge on his Facebook page on the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.  I was taken by surprise by this statement because it did not seem to reflect the views of a typical insider of the current regime from a man who has previously occupied the position of Prime Minister and head of government under President Paul Biya.

2.0 In this posting Peter Musonge:

Rejects Decentralization

Rejects the Bilingualism commission

Supports total separation

3.0 The radical views expressed by Peter Musonge were so diametrically opposed to CPDM doctrine on the Anglophone crisis that many of my Facebook friends challenged me for publishing fake news on my Facebook page. I continued to believe that the statement was from the former PM because we are talking about  very intelligent mam who is a graduate of Sasse College and Stanford University in California.

4.0 This is not the type of person who will create a fake Facebook account in order to express his views. I concluded that the Chairman of the Bilingualism Commission had deliberately taken the decision to express his deepest convictions through Facebook because that is where Cameroon’s youth hangout. He clearly wanted to float certain ideas in the hope that someone will pick them up and do something about them.

  1. The genuineness of this posting was confirmed by Paul Nji Atanga, the Minister of Territorial Administration who made a posting on my Facebook page attacking Prime Minister Peter Musonge for turning his back on the government.

6.0 The Minister said: “Musonge crossed the red line of turning his back against the government. I will suggest that he resign his post at the Bilingualism commission and join Ambazonia terrorists if he wants. I will destroy them soon. There is no fake account here because Musonge revealed information that is only available to top government officials in public. Everything Musonge said is completely true but he was not authorized to share that information to the public”.

7.0 I concluded from the barking response of the Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Nji Atanga that something is happening in the Biya government and everybody is looking for a solution to this crisis which has gone out of hand.  There is a deep split between Anglophones who want to see an end through negotiations and those who want to “crush” the separatist armed struggle by force.

8.0 Let me also point out that some of my Facebook friends include some key people in the Biya regime (whose identities shall not reveal) who read my Facebook page regularly because they know that I am not a “tete brule”. On the contrary, I am a serious political strategists whose political thinking on Cameroon is very well known.

9.0 Prime Minister Musonge told the Ambazonian leaders:  “Paul Biya has no control over these events because the European leaders tells him what to do. Stop blaming Biya and go after France, Great Britain, Germany and America. They are all the beneficiaries of your resources. See the list of European and Western Countries that are heavily invested in Cameroon. They are the causes of your problems. If you go after these countries, they will stop supporting Biya with military aid and weapons to fight Ambazonia”. “They all control the Africa Union and UN. All  Anglophone leaders should go after these countries and tell them to stop supporting Biya or else you will destroy their companies and kill their citizens in Cameroon. They will either make new business agreements with Ambazonian leaders or lose everything to new investment companies that are willing to do business with Ambazonia”.

Proposal to End the War in Cameroon(II)

10.0 I decided that I must respond to the Prime Minister’s declaration with a proposal which shall be released on 20 May 2018.  I told the Prime Minister that I would like him to forward the proposal to:

The French Ambassador in Yaounde

The British High Commissioner to Yaounde

The US Ambassador to Yaounde

The German Ambassador to Yaounde

The Russian Ambassador to Yaounde

The Chinese Ambassador to Yaounde

The Nigerian Ambassador to Yaounde

President Paul Biya

John Fru Ndi

11.0 The reason why this proposal shall be released on 20 May 2018 is because seven years ago on 20 May 2011, I addressed a joint letter to Paul Biya and John Fru Ndi forwarding to them a document entitled: “Newcam Prosperity Pact”. The Newcam Pact was a comprehensive bipartisan economic, political and constitutional reform proposal which I wanted the CPDM and the SDF to embrace in order to jointly support my candidature in the presidential elections scheduled for October 2011.

12.0  I tabled this proposal to the two parties because I knew that peaceful political transition cannot take place at the end of President Biyas rule unless the two parties agree on a compromise candidate. I was convinced about my suitability as the compromise candidate.

13.0 I deeply regret that neither Paul Biya nor John Fru Ndi took my proposal seriously because in October 2011, both of them decided to pursue their traditional rivalry by presenting themselves as candidates for the elections. The results were predictable and the rest is history.

14.0 The crisis that started in Cameroon in 2016 was entirely predictable because it had to do with transition and succession in Cameroon.  A problem that started as boycott by Common Law lawyers and the teachers association has now degenerated into an armed struggle between the Cameroon armed forces and the separatists following the restoration of the Republic of Ambazonia on 1st October 2017.

15.0 In December 2017, President Paul Biya rejected any idea about dialogue with Anglophone leaders and dismissed the idea of a return to federalism. He instead declared war on secessionist saying: “Il faut les mater afin de les mettre hors de l’etat de nuire”‘

16.0 As we speak:

Thousands of Anglophones have fled their homes and are living as refugees in Nigeria

Southern Cameroons has been flooded with arms as the youth have decided to defend their villages from Cameroonian soldiers who have been sent to kill, steal, destroy, rape and literally burn their villages to the ground forcing them to flee into the bushes.

Dozens of Anglophone leaders are currently held in detention centers in Yaounde and this includes members of the interim Government led by Sisiku Ayuk Tabe,  who were abducted from Abuja Nigeria with the complicity of the Nigerian authorities and the planning and logistic assistance of French Special Forces

17.0 In declaring war against the secessionists President Paul Biya failed to convince the Cameroonian armed forces why they should fight and die in Southern Cameroons. He declared that Cameroon is “one and indivisible”. This is a totally false claim because since 1st October 1961, Cameroon has always been “two and united” and never one and indivisible!!!! Instead it is Paul Biya who has destroyed the fabric of unity by clinging to power for 36 years with the support of France while engaging on a program of systematically destroying the Common law legal system and the English-speaking educational system in the Southern Cameroons.

18.0 The consequence of sending young and poorly trained Francophone soldiers into Southern Cameroons without a convincing reason why they should fight and die is that many of them are dying without fighting. During the course of the last five months, hundreds of young soldiers have been killed in the bushes of Southern Cameroons and we are told that many of them are being buried in mass graves with their boots on. This is a new type of crime against humanity.

Proposal to end the war in Cameroon(III)

17.0 The language and tone of President Biya’s declaration of war shows that he expected a quick victory as a result of police action in Southern Cameroons. But as hundreds of soldiers die in the bushes and the state treasury runs out of resource to fight a protracted bush war, it is clear that President Biya cannot win this war.

18.0 The separatists are well armed and are constantly replenished with arms and ammunition captured from young Cameroonian soldiers killed in the bushes. The separatists also have the advantage of fighting on their home turf.

19.0 Everyone knows that the Biya government is running out of money to continue with this deadly confrontation. This means that a solution must be found to convince the armed separatists to lay down their arms. If nothing is done, the separatists will soon take control of the whole territory of Southern Cameroons because time, geography  and other political factors are on their side.

20.0 The question is what should be done? There are four possible options which should be examined:

– Continue Fighting to the Death

– Return to Two State Federation

– Decentralization of a unitary state

– Negotiated Separation into two sovereign States

These are the four options on the table now and we must examine them objectively

OPTION I: Fight to the Death

21.0 The option of continuing to fight to death is unsustainable because the Biya government does not have the resources to sustain this bloody struggle for long. How many young poorly trained soldiers can be sent to their deaths before triggering a blowback

22.0  Those countries which support Paul Biya like France know that the losses in the armed forces are unsustainable and this will sooner or later turn the army against the government with unpredictable consequences.

23.0 France has wisely decided not to involve the French armed forces in the  struggle like they did in French Cameroons from 1956-1966 when the French armed forces were directly involved in genocidal crimes that were admitted by President Francois Hollande when he visited Yaounde. Emmanuel Macron knows that what is happening in Ambazonia is a legitimate struggle for independence similar to what is happening in New Caledonia,  Catalonia and even Scotland.

24.0 The Anglophone separatists are heavily implanted in the Southern Cameroons and do not lack the support in arms and ammunition to continue the struggle for years because the alternative of becoming a people conquered and relegated to the status of French colony by proxy is unthinkable. The Anglophone Diaspora that supports the armed self-defense has realised that the armed forces are vulnerable and lack the will and the motivation to fight and die.

25.0 Consequently this option must be discarded sooner than later.

OPTION II: Return to a Two state Federation

26.0 Option II involving a return to a two state federation is a nonstarter because we lived through that from 1961-1972 and no one is ready to go back to a failed experiment.

OPTION III: Decentralization of a unitary state.

27.0 We are made to understand that decentralization is the preferred option of the foreign powers supporting Paul Biya.  But the reality is that the idea of the decentralization of a unitary state is an oxymoron similar to the idea of trying to transform a circle into a square or vice versa. It will never work. None of the young men who have taken up arms to defend their families and loved ones can ever be convinced to lay down their weapons for the idea decentralization.

28.0 None of the three options examined so far can ever convince the separatist fighters to lay down their arms. They will prefer to continue waging war against the Biya regime until the regime is brought to its knees through the economic collapse of the whole country. Since no scenario of ending the war is feasible without the separatists laying down their arms, we are left with the the last option of

OPTION IV:  Negotiated Separation

29.0  Negotiated Separation is the only option that can convince the separatists to lay down their arms. The negotiations will be very difficult. But there is no other exit strategy from this war. If the war continues, the economic collapse of the Biya regime is a distinct possibility. However, in the negotiated separation, France and the UK will have to play a key role as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

© May 2018; Dr. Nfor N Susungi

Source: Dr. Nfor N. Susungi

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