After intense pressure from the international community and stakeholders, Paul Biya, the president of the Republic of Cameroun has grudgingly called for negotiations with undisclosed representatives of Ambazonia, or Cameroonian Anglophones as he prefers to call them.
OEAS has learned from reliable sources in Yaoundé and Europe that in addition to the above actions, the Biya regime has formulated a plan under which so-called representatives of the Anglophones will negotiate a “peace plan” calling for the armed resistance in Ambazonia to stop in exchange for assurances of equal rights for the Anglophone community.
This sort of “peace plan” which simply guarantees the Ambazonians their own existing rights is a position that will never be accepted by the armed resistance and its commanders who seek nothing short of total independence for Ambazonia. Further, the international community which is responsible for bringing Biya to the bargaining table must be a third party to the negotiations. The deaths of up to 15,000 Ambazonians and many times more refugees and internally displaced persons has forever internationalized the peace process.
OEAS stands firm in its resolution to stand by the Ambazonian people. As Southern Cameroons, Ambazonia was among the founding members of OEAS.
OEAS calls for the following comprehensive peace initiative:
The parties must negotiate in good faith with no preset conditions or limits. The armed Ambazonian resistance must be a necessary party to the talks. The resistance takes orders from its direct commanders and not from self-declared leaders or armchair generals. The international community must also be present at the negotiating table.
It is obvious Ambazonia freedom fighters and their supporters will not accept the status quo any more than Biya will accept total independence as a starting goal. Biya must understand that the situation in Ambazonia has forever changed and there is no going back to the pre-2017 status quo.
Independence however can take many forms. Both parties can learn from what has worked in South Sudan, Somaliland, Kurdistan and the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. An interim solution that allows for healing, nation building, and peace benefits everyone. But to reach any solution, negotiations with no preconditions must first take place with an international peace broker. OEAS points out that an incremental process eventually won out in South Sudan ending decades of violence and slaughter.
A sham peace process will only serve to strengthen the will of the freedom fighters and escalate the armed struggle. If the Biya regime truly wants peace, it must look beyond the pre-2017 status quo and seek a new framework that benefits all parties. Only then can the initiative become a comprehensive solution.
The Organization of Emerging African States OEAS is a United States 501(c)(3) public charity registered with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs NGO Branch and The European Commission Authentication System (ECAS) with member states throughout Africa.