President Biya has said dialogue is already underway for solutions to be identified to end the ongoing protests in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon. He was speaking yesterday at the opening of a three-day visit he paid to his Italian counterpart, President Sergio Matterella.
Cameroon’s Head of State also told his host that despite the ongoing protests against a perceived marginalisation of the minority English-speaking Cameroonians, most of the countries citizens love living together. He however noted that the dialogue which he says is on-going, is guided by the constitution of the Cameroon republic.
It should however be recalled that the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium which is coordinating the protests in the English Speaking regions otherwise known as Southern Cameroons or West Cameroons, share a different school of thought.
In release issued last week, in which the Consortium acknowledged the presidency had reached out to them for dialogue, the current leaders of the protests noted that they informed President Biya’s envoy that from their observation Cameroonians from the North West and South West region prefer secession. But insisted the consortium is requesting the return to a two-state federation as obtained in 1961 during the unification of West and East Cameroons.
Apart from the protest affecting the education, the judiciary system and businesses in Anglophone regions, President Biya also talked about Boko Haram insurgency. He equally raise concerns climate change sustainable development, and growing illegal immigration issues.
Belinga Eboutou Absent
Conspicuously absent in the president’s suite to Italy was Martin Belinga Eboutou, Director of Cabinet at the Presidency. The director of cabinet who always travels out of the country every time the president is on official and private trips abroad was replaced on the trip to Italy by his assistant, Joseph Anderson Le.
Sources say Belinga was absent due to ill-health. The 77-year old who has been Cameroonian ambassador to several countries, was equally absent during this year’s New Year wishes ceremony at the presidency for health reasons.
President Biya’s suite to Italy comprised of Le Jeune Mbella Mbella, Minister of External Relations, Louis Paul Motaze Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, Minister of Public Works, Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of Higher Education, and Hamadou Moustapha and Victor Arrey Mengot. Ministers of Special Duties at the Presidency. Elung Paul Che, Minister Delegate in charge of the Budget at the Ministry of Finance, Joseph Le Deputy Director of the Civil Cabinet, Luc Sindjoun and Joseph Fouda both Special Advisers; also travelled to Italy with the President.