The International Crisis Group (ICG) on Thursday exhorted Cameroon authorities to urgently rethink it’s repressive policy in the country’s restive English-speaking regions in the bid to avoid further uprising.
Going by the ICG recently published report on the Anglophone crisis, the NGO said the government’s crackdown on the anglophone minority had failed and had only served to fuel a clamour for independence.
The report states that in the face of mounting protests in the run-up to the declaration of independence by activists, the security forces “responded with disproportionate force, leading to at least 40 deaths and over 100 injured protesters between September 28 and 2 October,”. t
It pointed to the use of live rounds and excessive use of teargas. “Due to such murderous repression, secessionist ranks are growing by the day, and some are more firmly evoking the idea of an armed struggle or ‘self defence’,” it said.
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, 84, must act swiftly to find a serious political solution to the crisis, and it was also crucial that the international community speak out firmly against such state violence, the ICG said.
“If he hopes to avoid an armed uprising in Anglophone regions, which would without doubt have an impact in the Francophone zone, the Cameroonian president must go beyond superficial measures and take responsibility in order to find political solutions to the crisis.”
The ICG report was published at a time Prime Minister Philemon Yang is the country’s North West region, concerting with stakeholders on how to bring an end to the crisis. b
During his exchange with various trade unions in the region, the people of the North West region told Yang that the best way to ease the tension in the North West and South West regions, is for President Paul Biya to personally visit the regions and talk to the people.
Since the elite’s peace mission was announced, many Anglophone Cameroonians have taken to various media platforms condemning the act. Most of them describe President Biya’s move to send out North West and South West elites on the field to commune and dialogue with population as a little too late.