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Matters arising from the Cameroon peace parley


Matters arising from the Cameroon peace parley


By Nsikan Ikpe


Cameroon’s Grand National Dialogue, a peace parley ostensibly designed to douse political and separatist tension in the Central African nation has since come to a close but with very little clarity as to what next.

Held from September 30 to October 4, 2019, the government-endorsed talks closed with a number of recommendations that now wait for action from the Paul Biya government.

Among others, it recommended the granting of “special status” to the troubled North West and South West regions, that had been in the eye of the storm for some time now.

Peopled by the anglophone minority in the country, the region is home to separatist agitation for a new Republic of Ambazonia.

The anglophone minority make up some 16 percent of Cameroon’s population.

Concern over their plight has generated widespread global attention over time, including last week’s action by the Trump administration in the United States revoking trade privileges that had hitherto been enjoyed by the country.

Sanctions apart, one of the other suspected trouble points that the country is faced with includes the fact that many of the notable separatist organisations in the embattled region stayed off the talks, raising fears that the resolutions may not carry practical weight overall.

Another problematic point is the fact that the proposals are yet to be brought before the Cameroon National Assembly which would then be expected to vote on them.

And then there is the big elephant in the shop: the backstage jostling among top Biya loyalists for leverage in an administration whose henchman is old, frail, ill and clearly on his way out; albeit without any properly defined succession framework.

It’s quite a day indeed for the people of Cameroon.






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