Crisis in anglophone regions: CRM calls for the end of political arrests, the release of new legitimate socio-political leaders and for political dialogue

The Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) is very concerned about the regime of terror that is plaguing the new legitimate anglophone leaders, since the government realized, after clumsily denying the existence of an anglophone problem with arguments and official demonstrations, that their "solutions" do not satisfy the populations of the North-West and South-West.

These "solutions" could only be unsatisfactory, for it is not possible to propose real solutions to a problem whose existence is officially denied.

The Government's attitude suggests a doctor who not only denies that the person in front of him is a patient and refuses to consult him, but hastened to resort to the BIR, the army, the police, CRTV, Cameroon Tribune, justice, to force him to swallow a drug in order to cure an illness of which this strange doctor knows neither the nature nor the gravity, since he pretends that it is an imaginary disease. Such a physician does not reassure the patient; and the more he unleashes strength, the less he reassures him.

The creation on Monday 23rd January 2017 of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, announced on 31st December 2016 by the President of the Republic, at a time when the Government continued to deny the existence of an anglophone problem, is the drug that anglophone compatriots have to swallow by terror (arrests, humiliation of public figures, inappropriate recall of the terms of the anti-terrorist law, threat and censorship of media etc.)  . When were their new legitimate leaders now in detention or underground associated with the creation of this questionable structure both in the process of its creation and in terms of its missions and responsibilities?

The use of  provisions from the law on terrorism against compatriots who, with their faces uncovered, have been bringing to public attention  the problem of their ill-being gives reason to those who, in 2014, saw in the formulation of the anti-terrorist law a convenient way to kill  free political debate in our country.

Cameroon, whose leaders praised peace, slipped dangerously into political insecurity, whose grave consequences we see in many countries on the continent.

It is now that the patriotism of every citizen must be manifested in order to avoid the worst in our country. This patriotism amounts to admitting the existence of an anglophone political problem and to ask the Government and the new legitimate anglophone leaders, many of whom are currently arrested or underground, to accept the joint and concerted search for a global political response to the problem. It is dangerous for stability and national unity to continue to deny the existence of this problem or to try to solve it by cosmetic measures.

In this perspective, the CRM calls for the release of all anglophone political actors arrested in the context of this crisis.

It also draws the attention of the Government to the fact that, in the past, personalities have been convicted of their ambitions, opinions or political actions by courts under various and generally inconsistent legal grounds, institutions have condemned the State of Cameroon and ordered, in some cases, substantial financial reparations.

It is with Cameroonians’ money that these heavy financial reparations will have to be paid for that a good functioning of the democratic game and the acceptance by the regime of contradiction and sound political ambition could have avoided. This situation must lead the Government in restraint in the instrumentalization of public force and justice whenever it feels an opposition to political corruption, blackmail to appointments and employment, resistance in the face of socio-economic decline of a country which nevertheless has many advantages for rapid, effective and inclusive economic, social and cultural development.

The official prohibition, contrary to the laws of the Republic, of any debate on the form of the State is not the solution to the serious danger threatening our country. Cameroonians, all Cameroonians, even those of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) and the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), have to talk to each other to look for a republican solution to the collective challenge brought by this crisis. The Government must stop forging ahead and demonstrate its ability to politically manage a political problem.

The government must realize that their tendency to always use the BIR and more generally security forces and justice against all those who have political claims that displease or disturb them is no longer operative. At present, political courage means to free the legitimate anglophone political representatives and to open with them and other Cameroonians the vital dialogue.

CRM Communication Department.
25 january, 2017