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voices In Exile: The Rumble that Gives the Biya Regime Insomnia
Category :- News Author :- Legideon 
Posted on August 24, 2018, 2:38 pm
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Draped in the white and blue colours of a country they now call “Ambazonia,” chanting songs of freedom, carrying placards with messages calling on President Trump to do something about the situation in Cameroon, the tens of thousands of people who showed up certainly sent a powerful message not just to Washington, but to the rest of the world.
 
For a long time now the Ambazonian public has watched with dismay as the frontline leaders bickered with each other while the people chaffed. However, the Washington event that held last weekend witnessed a show of unity of purpose that has not been seen for a long time now. It started with a meeting of frontline leaders on Friday, August 17, a conference on April 18, the white house demonstration on August 19 and a Press conference on August 20 to cap off what was described by many as a historic week.
 
The resolutions indicated that the frontline leaders, known more for bickering than working together had agreed to bury the hatchet and work on a collaborative platform.  Boh Herbert, Samuel Sako, Ebenezer Akwanga, Chris Anu, Mola Njoh Litumbe, Cho Ayaba, and others later participated and spoke at the mammoth rally that was organized in front of the white house.
 
As the euphoria of the Washington week dies down, Southern Cameroonians must get back to reality. Acting President of the Interim Government (IG), Samuel Sako, said as of yesterday, there was no response yet from the White House or the state department. At the press conference, the leaders took turns in bashing the United Nations for not living up to its expectations with regards to the Southern Cameroons. With France and Britain not known to be enthusiastic about the Southern Cameroons case, it is understandable that the focus should turn to the USA. Will the Trump Administration respond and how? And if it elects not to respond, what next? The stakes are certainly high. The ongoing rainy season in Cameroon has made life very difficult for internally displaced persons who have been forced into makeshift dwellings in the forests. There are no signs that children will go back to school in September when the new school year opens. Can the Washington meeting lead to outcomes that can contribute in the resolution of the crisis?
 
With the new-found unity from the diaspora leadership, how will this impact the fortunes of those at home? It is September, the traditional month where students go back to school and for the third year in a row, it is chaos in the North West and South West regions of the country. Clearly, there are parents and students who are showing signs of fatigue. The social media is peppered with calls by concerned stakeholders calling for schools to resume. But how will students go to school with the rampant killings that continue to take place? How will students cope with school when their security is not guaranteed? 
 
At the same time, is keeping children away from school not going to create bigger problems down the line? Is this not in a way mortgaging the future of the very people the struggle claims to fight for? what about the infrastructure and the economy that lies in tatters, what about the hundreds of thousands of displaced people? How do you deal with the gangs, some of them planted by the government to give the struggle a bad name?
Could the struggle be effective or come to fruition just because of s strong external pressure as was the case this weekend with the Washington, DC events. Both Barrister Agbor Balla and Dr Simon Munzu joined in the telecast. Both have come under severe criticism, from hardliners within the struggle, yet their contributions have been laudable. Both men live in Cameroon. In 2016, Balla was a major actor in the triggering of the events that led to this phase of the struggle. He was jailed for close to a year. No one has probably done more than him to rally legal support for those detained in jails across the country as a result of this struggle. His remains a voice that carries respect and deserves to be heard. 
 
For daring to link up with Cardinal Tumi to announce the hosting of an All Anglophone forum, Dr Simon Munzu has been labelled a villain, and lackey of the Biya regime. But what is wrong in organizing a forum back home for Southern Cameroonians to talk and discuss the way forward? Since the consortium was banned, there has not been any framework within which Anglophone Cameroonians at home can work to continue to push for reforms. Even before the consortium was banned, there were calls and indeed, there was a clear need for some form of an All Anglophone conference to discuss the stakes and a way forward. It is still necessary now. A forum like the one that took place in Washington, taking place in Cameroon will amplify the message tenfold for anyone still in doubt that Southern Cameroonians mean business.  Cardinal Tumi arguably the leading moral voice in the country and his initiative deserves the benefit of the doubt.
 
Lastly, while some may style this a revolution, people must have in mind the values that account for the uniqueness of the system of governance that Southern Cameroonians are fighting to protect. It is one of tolerance, it is one that promotes civil debate, it is one that admits divergent views, one that thrives on the decision of the majority with a minority say. One where questions are asked. One where there is accountability of resources. Those with divergent views should not necessarily be bullied into submission or silence but challenged with stronger arguments. The original motto of the SCNC which prided itself on the force of the argument and not the argument of force is still relevant today, even as it was back in the 1990s. 
 
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Tagged Keywords:  Ambazonia in the USA
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