Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Center (CPC) organized a panel titled ‘Cameroon Anglophone Crisis Resolution Panel ’in cooperation with the Department of Political Science and International Relations. The panel was participated by members of the ‘Stop the War in Cameroon Coalition’ Achiri Emmanuel, Tantoh Didimus, Nancy Achu, Asanga Fon and Formella Collins.
Chair of the panel, EMU Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Political Science and International Relations Chair and President of the Cyprus Policy Center Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen delivered an opening speech during which he extended his gratitude to all those attending. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen also stated that during the panel possible policies that could be followed during the solution stage of the Anglophone Crisis of Cameroon will be examined from different perspectives.
Dating back to the colonial era, Cameroon's Francophone-Anglophone problem has been on the world agenda ever since the rebelling of 5 million people living in the northwestern and southwestern Anglophone districts against the Francophone administration, causing a sudden and rapid increase in the number of fatal violence. At the beginning of October 2017, the separatists, upon declaring that they had established a symbolic state called Ambazonia, started the armed phase of the struggle after their declaration of independence had failed. As many civilians and security officers lost their lives during the incidents, many international organizations and countries, including the United Nations and the European Union, called on the Cameroon Government to take the initiative and to establish a sincere and constructive dialogue as a means of finding a solution to the Anglophone crisis.
As the first speaker of the panel, Achiri Emmanuel introduced the ‘Stop the War in Cameroon Coalition’ and called on the other young Cameroonians to join the initiative. Emmanuel emphasized that the said initiative has not produced solutions for all the problems of Cameroon, but is one of the platforms aiming to contribute to the solution of the ongoing Anglophone crisis. Following Emmanuel’s presentation, Tantoh Didimus described the Anglophone crisis in general terms by explaining the origins of the complex colonial history of Cameroon. After Didimus, who touched upon the four-phase solution process, the participants talked about the importance of the cease-fire, humanitarian aid, dialogue and an integrated approach.
In a speech of his own, Nancy Achu highlighted the importance of the ceasefire and stated that their initiative recommended a cease-fire to be secured the peacekeeping force and during which the African Union would appoint mediators to launch a dialogue.
Asanga Fon touched on the importance of humanitarian aid and dialogue.
Asanga Fon talked about the importance of humanitarian aid and dialogue. Fon said their initiative would be insistent to help victims of the ongoing war, and would channel these aids directly to individuals or through trusted humanitarian organizations. Emphasizing the importance of dialogue, Fon stated that in the mediation of the African Union, both sides of the dispute and other parties of interest extended a call for a solution-oriented national dialogue rather than a position-oriented one.
Emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach, Formella Collins stated that their initiative demands that the UN remove their blinkers and realize early warning signs and fulfill the responsibility of protection, which is a priority. Collins also suggested that the UN should propose concrete mechanisms, such as the International Commission of Justice, which will appoint a permanent commission of arbitrators who are experts in matters of self-determination.
During the last part of the panel, Prof. Dr. Sözen emphasized the importance of early warning and early intervention systems in which the existing UN system has not been very successful and closed the session by expressing the importance of the UN taking steps in these matters.