Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Philemon Yang has been granting a series of audiences to various social groups in the North West region in continuation to ongoing efforts to end the prevailing crisis that has rocked the country’s English speaking regions for over a year.
The Head of Government according to state broadcaster, CRTV, has met and exchanged with trade unions in the transport, education and food vendors, as well as with bankers and other business figures, sampling their opinions on what could be done to put an end to ongoing tensions in the North West and South West regions.
It is still not clear if the Prime Minister peace and dialogue mission this time will bring an end to long term resentments of English speakers with many now fueling a breakaway from the country.
Many outspoken Anglophone rights activists have regarded President Biya’s recent decision to send “elite delegations” of anglophones to the English-speaking regions to “have a dialogue” with the population and deliver “the president’s message of peace and goodwill”, as bad faith.
One of them, Agbor Balla, President of the Outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, condemned in very strong terms the peace and dialogue mission. Balla in a strong worded letter posted on his Facebook page on Saturday October 14, described the visit as provocative and irresponsible.
Since the October 1 demonstrations in the crisis stricken regions, more than 20 people have been shot dead by security forces, and at least 500 detained, going by Amnesty International. According to an AFP tally, at least 14 people died. Cameroon government however claims the death toll varies between 10 and 12.