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Commonwealth secretary general on visit to Cameroon

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland arrived in Yaoundé on Friday evening for a five-day working visit to Cameroon, during which she will try to give fresh impetus to efforts aimed at defusing the crisis in the English-speaking regions in the North West and Southwest.She is also scheduled to meet with President Paul Biya and Prime Minister Philemon Yang, as well as members of the government, opposition party leaders and representatives of civil society.

Upon touching the Cameroonian soil, the Commonwealth scribe said she was very “impatient” to get to know in Cameroon and its population, but especially to discuss concrete means by which the Commonwealth can support Cameroon’s efforts to take up the urgent challenges it faces.”

And one of these challenges, she pointed out include the explosive situation in the English-speaking regions, where the claims of lawyers and teachers have turned into violent call for secession from the rest of Cameroon.

A month ago, Patricia Scotland called for peace, unity and non-violence in Cameroon, saying she was “particularly concerned about what is happening in the southern regions of the country.”

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth had urged the Cameroonian government and all other stakeholders to use constructive dialogue to settle crisis and to end the violence on the ground.

Last Thursday, security sources confirmed violent clashes between elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), an elite military unit, and English-speaking separatists, who are reported to hold a rear base in neighboring Nigeria. Over 10 people among the separatist were reported killed in the clashes.

The same sources also said that several weapons and propaganda items were seized in the hands of secessionists, including 26 shotguns, several ammunition, a laptop, communications equipment and T-shirts in the colors of the “Ambazonian defense forces”.


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