Updated: March 1, 2021
Nine U.S. Congress members have sent a letter to President Paul Biya to express “deep concern” over “the ongoing insecurity and violence in the predominantly Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon”.
The letter was signed by Congress members Karen Bass, Christopher Smith, Ron Kind, James Sensenbrenner, James McGovern, David Cicilline, Ilhan Omar, Ron Wright and Tim Walberg.
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The Congress members urged Mr. Biya to demonstrate political will by engaging in the Swiss-led facilitation process, “which could lead to negotiations between the Cameroonian government, the opposition in the Northwest and the Southwest, as well as the diaspora”.
They called on Mr. Biya to adopt a process of inclusive negotiations and institutional reforms that would lead to “greater power-sharing and decision-making” as well “facilitate peace and save Cameroonian lives”.
The Congress members said the children, especially those in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, need to resume school, a resumption that will not happen until peace returns.
They warned that the conflict could lead to a generation of unskilled and underdeveloped people who could become unemployed, and prone to violence.
The Swiss-led facilitation process intends to grant more power to the Anglophone regions, a move that may see other regions in Cameroon, which have also been marginalized by the administration of President Biya coming forward and taking up arms against the state for justice and equity.
Some French speaking Cameroonians see English speaking Congress members in the United States as taking side, and not including in their understanding of the conflict in Cameroon French speaking Cameroonians in the United States who may have different opinions about the deep seated suspicions at the core of the misunderstanding in Cameroon created by French and British colonialists.