After gov’t, separatists endorse Canada to facilitate dialogue: Ambazonian kingpin hails Biya for engaging peace talks.

A Friday January 20 statement from Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, that the Cameroon government and several separatist groups have agreed for her country to facilitate talks to end the impasse in the North West and South West regions, has elicited positive reactions.

Among the reactions that speak well of the announcement is popular separatist kingpin, Ndong Emmanuel, mostly known as Capo Daniel.

In a clip released shortly after the Canadian Minister’s statement, Capo said, President Biya must be saluted for what he said is courage to support the Canadian deal.

The separatist kingpin also saluted the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, for working hard to attain such a feat.

It is no secret that one of the key missions Biya assigned to Dion Ngute as Prime Minister is ending the deadlock in the English-speaking regions.

In his message on the developments in Canada, Capo stated: “I want to congratulate the President of Cameroon, His Excellency Paul Biya. I want to congratulate the Prime Minister of Cameroon for this bold step”. Expressing hope for good things to come out of the dialogue, Capo remarked that: “It takes recklessness to declare a war and it takes courage to pursue peace”.

Turning to other actors of the separatist movement in Cameroon, that “seek peace and a peaceful resolution of this war of Ambazonia liberation,” the separatist linchpin asked them to “be courageous, stand firm, abandon the path of war”.

While also condemning war, Capo also underscored the unity of the black race. “We are all blacks, we are all Africans, and there is no need for this war,” he declared.

He intimated in his call for a new path to peace that, “for the Ambazonia people, it has taken us courage to overcome our fears and suspicions against the Cameroon regime. Rightfully so, negotiation is the pathway for the resolution of this crisis”.

 

 

 

Another red feather for PM Dion Ngute, Biya’s peace maestro

The Guardian Post gathered that the positive twists in Canada are the results of the shrewdness of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, who has stopped at nothing since his appointment in opening up new avenues for peace.

The engagement, which is on course to be a historic feat for government since the armed conflict in the former West Cameroon erupted, authoritative sources have hinted The Guardian Post, is the fruit of months of underground diplomatic work commanded by the PM.

It is also no secret that since the Major National Dialogue of 2019, the Prime Minister has been working on all fronts to end the gridlock. One of such measures is a special committee which he heads that has been constantly talking with separatists in the Diaspora on the need for peace.

 

Contours of Canadian gov’t’s acceptance to facilitate talks

In her release Friday, Canada’s Foreign Affairs minister wrote that her country “has accepted the mandate to facilitate this process, as part of our commitment to promote peace and security and advance support for democracy and human rights”.

“Our role also reflects Canada’s engagement to work with our African partners to build a better future for everyone,” she wrote.

She noted that the government of Cameroon and the different groups have agreed to enter, “a process to reach a comprehensive, peaceful and political resolution of the conflict,” noting that, “the parties have also agreed to form technical committees to begin work on confidence-building measures”.

Besides the government, the statement identified other key groups that have accepted the fresh engagement to include “the Ambazonia Governing Council; the Ambazonia Defence Force; the African People’s Liberation Movement; Southern Cameroons Defence Force; the Interim Government, and the Ambazonia Coalition Team”.

There is potential for other groups to come on board to end the situation in the English-speaking regions, the statement further noted.

According to the statement from the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, “civilians are bearing the brunt of the ongoing crisis in Cameroon, with more than 6,000 people having lost their lives since 2017. In addition, nearly 800,000 people have been displaced as a result of this crisis, and 600,000 children do not have full access to education”.

The Canadian government describes this new agreement as “a critical first step toward peace and a safer, more inclusive and prosperous future for civilians affected by the conflict”.    

While further hailing the government of Cameroon and other stakeholders, the Canadian government, in the statement, urged stakeholders to support the move.

“We commend all parties for engaging in substantive dialogue. We encourage all stakeholders to support and work with the parties to advance and contribute to an inclusive process to reach a lasting and sustainable political settlement,” the statement also indicated.

 

Separatist groups vow to engage process

On Saturday January 21, the several separatist groups mentioned in the statement of the Canadian government, issued a release, stating their firm willingness to pursue peace.

The signatories of the statement, a copy of which The Guardian Post read through are Dr Lucas Cho Ayaba, of the Ambazonia Governing Council, AGovC and Ambazonia Defence Forces, ADF; Dr. Ebenezer E. Akwanga of the African People’s Liberation Movement, APLM, and Southern Cameroon Defence Forces, SOCADEF, alongside Dabney Yerima and Dr Emmanuel J. Taylor of the Interim Government, IG and Ambazonia Coalition Team, ACT respectively.

They disclosed having been talking with government representatives in the last four months. The signatories described the meetings as “pre-talks”, adding that such are the “first steps towards comprehensively addressing the root causes of the Ambazonia Liberation War”.

 

UN observing process of talks

The outcome of the talks, the statement disclosed, is the signing of a Joint Declaration of Commitment. This, according to their release, was done in the presence of officials of the United Nations, UN, who played observer role. They expressed hope that “a Comprehensive Negotiated Settlement shall emanate,” from such talks.

While thanking their delegates, the officials said, they will, “engage in this process cautiously given the history of the Cameroon government’s stance since 1961 towards the former United Nations Trust Territory of the British Southern Cameroons”.

They also restated that, “as a people, we will define our name and expect the international community to respect our unique identity and reference,” but said they are resolute in working with Canada to address the problem. They also talked of doing so while “exploring ways for a multi-national facilitation process”.

 

Technical committees at work

In tandem with the release of the Canadian government, the separatist leaders said, they have agreed with government to work on “Confidence Building Measures, CBMs, to build trust”.  

Technical committees, they said, have been put in place to pursue such and “layout the modalities and clarify technical matters about the implementation and monitoring of confidence building measures”.

The signatories also reiterated the need for inclusiveness in the peace process. They also urged the population of the North West and South West regions to “remain committed and support this process”.

“We take the opportunity to ask all other groups…to work together to support and strengthen this process,” they noted.

 

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