Published on International Journal of Social, Politics & Humanities
Publication Date: April, 2020
Maxwell N. Achu
MA International Relations
Diplomat, & International Consultant on Peace and Governance
Greater Accra Region, Republic of Ghana
Journal Full Text PDF: The Anglophone Crisis and the Way – Forward: The Vision for Peace.
With the recent killings of 27 civilians in Ngarbu, in the Donga Mantung Division there is an urgent need for a political resolution to the crisis ravaging Cameroon. It is for this purpose that this Vision for Peace was initiated. The heightened killings, internally displaced persons, and unlawful abductions and detentions are just a few reasons that justifies the conception of this peace proposal for a more inclusive dialogue through mediation. It will be efforts in futility to try to solve an armed conflict without adequate understanding of the root causes. Whether or not the crisis is legitimate is not dependent on high levels of propaganda, rather very distinct analysis must be made (SECTION 2). The result of these analyses in itself does not amount to an effective Cessation of Hostilities. A ceasefire mechanism should urgently be negotiated in order to stop the killings and violence. Without any doubt, no ceasefire mechanism can succeed without adequate and meaningful concessions by both sides. This concept for peace proposes other concessions to be made by the Government of Cameroon (henceforth GoC) and the Restoration Forces (SECTION 3). The Major National Dialogue and its Special Status resolution piloted by the GoC did not stop the violence; therefore, there is a primordial need to review the peacebuilding and peace-making tactics used. A peace proposal that advocates for mediation and an all-inclusive dialogue (nonviolence), like this one, only seeks to contribute in the entire peace process. This Vision for Peace does not pretend to have exhausted all peace avenues; however, it sets the pace on which more contributions could build on.
Keywords: (All meaning of keywords shall be within the context of this Vision for Peace). Vision, Peace, Ambazonia, Secession, La République du Cameroun, Anglophone Crisis, Francophones, Southern Cameroons, British Southern Cameroon, German Kamerun, Ambazonia Restoration Forces, Interim Government (IG), Peace Agreement (PA), Act of Union, Self-determination, Ground Zero, Amba boys.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1. CHAPTER I A: Components of this Vision for Peace
Without having to undermine the intelligent peace ideas and proposals set forth by other well-meaning Cameroonians, the current crisis in Cameroon dubbed the ‘Anglophone Crisis’ seemed stubbornly intractable. One of the reasons for such under-achievement could be the vast disparity that exists between the content of the proposals and the realities on the ground. It is within this backdrop that this Vision for Peace is conceived with intentions to supplement the ideas put forward and re-stimulate the atmosphere for peace to reign.
Far be it that this Vision for Peace will satisfy either side in their aspirations and give them what they want, but if given the chance, it could stop the violence, and negotiate with both sides on an exit strategy through deep dialogue. One element that adds to the complex nature of the Crisis is the fact that, some radicals use the conflict to destabilize the regions and perturb the smooth functioning of socio-cultural lives of Cameroonians.
This Vision for Peace vehemently refutes any claim of knowing-it-all but upholds that its contribution in the mediation process is vital. Even though the quest for peace by several intelligent and dedicated people has been elusive, and met with increased wave of terror, violence and human right abuses, this Vision for Peace seeks to set the pace for substantial moves towards restoring peace in this part of Africa. This Vision for Peace, indeed, has the capacity to bring lasting peace to both parties concerned.
Goals for this Vision: This Vision for Peace seeks to uproot the culture of incitement prevailing in Southern Cameroon. It recognizes that Cameroonians and Southern Cameroonians/Restoration-ist all deserve a better future and this vision can help them all achieve that desire.
This Vision for Peace seeks to restore conditions for investment to start flowing into the regions, through deep dialogue and other reconciliation arrangements. Therefore, our hope is that this Vision for Peace will inspire a future in which all peoples in Cameroon will live together in peace and prosperity.
This Vision presents a package of proposed compromises/concessions for both sides to consider, in order for them to move forward towards peace and prosperity for all. Even as the vision is forward-looking, adequate and sufficient re-visit of the historicity of the problem is important. History sets the platform to build the future.
Finally, this Vision for Peace is setting the guidelines for negotiating a roundtable dialogue.
1.2. CHAPTER I B: The Author’s Previous Predictions based on Researched Indices of Violence Intensification in the Anglophone Regions sadly becomes a Reality
It is work in futility to endeavour to solve a crisis (violent crisis) without having to analyse the dynamics of elements that surrounds a violent conflict. This is why in the author’s last concept paper predicting the intensity of the conflict; he mentioned the range of measures to undertake by the Government of Cameroon (hereafter GoC) to reduce the impending multiplicity of violence in these regions (M. Achu 2019). In this article, Achu highlighted determinants used to evaluate the risk of violence intensity including, speedy increase of access to small arms, light and conventional weapons; civilian displacement, increase levels of violence containment expenditure, criminal violence as well as high rates of incarceration .
From a face value, Cameroon has witnessed an increase of all these determinants enumerated above, which is illustrative of the records. Unfortunately, the GoC reacts more often to the anglophone crisis with counterinsurgency measures that only heightens the level of violence and deteriorates peace, instead.
Following my previous analysis, I proposed emergency peacebuilding interventions, which if implemented, could mitigate the rising risk of the Anglophone Crisis intensification. As long as the GoC ignored the author’s forewarnings of an impending bloodbath for the nation, then, violence indeed escalated in these regions coupled with a panoply of other related criminal violence.
On the ground, the Anglophone Crisis has become more confrontational despite the peace-making efforts initiated by the GoC. Whether or not these peace efforts were appropriate could be determined from the results on the ground. Unfortunately, it has not work. Rather, these peace initiatives, notwithstanding the sincerity of the organizers, the resolutions from these initiatives were met with high levels of combative reactions from the Restoration Forces, supported by a vibrant diaspora.
The upshot of this resistance has been higher death rates, higher incarceration rates, higher proliferation of small and light weapons, higher levels of civilian displacements and rural exodus in neighbouring countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, La Cote D’Ivoire, just to name a few.
Ultimately, nobody should take delight in prophesying calamity towards either a people or a government. For this reason, this Vision for Peace comes to buttress and outline the way-forward, by proposing concessions that could possibly bring the violence to a considerable level, if not stop it entirely, and usher the warring parties to a deep dialogue table.
1.3. CHAPTER I C: The State of Affairs – Economic of Peace
Peace and the economy are two mutually reinforcing concept, wherein the absence of one limits the presence of the other. Peace is a necessary element for business performance, and without such peacefulness, businesses suffers. Illustratively, there is very little or no transactional cost imposed on businesses that operates in a peaceful environment, contrary to heavy transaction cost in violent-prone scenarios.
Businesses in the Anglophone regions have actually shutdown due to incessant violence between the Restoration Forces and the military of the GoC. High levels of perceived risk of violent escalation has reduced drastically the business confidence in Cameroon entirely, and consequently, this stresses the economy as these regions (Anglophone regions) supply a chunk of the GDP of Cameroon.
Indeed, high levels of business engagements supports peace invariably . The violence raging Cameroon has been the preponderant factor of slow economic growth in Cameroon, according to experts and other international policy think tanks.
Most importantly, the focus of this Vision for Peace is far from rendering too many scholarly references to support our assertions; rather it is a pragmatic guide, which may contribute to lasting peace and prosperity for all Cameroonians.
CHAPTER 2: THE HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 CHAPTER II A: IS THE ANGLOPHONE CRISIS LEGITIMATE?
This section seeks to establish the fight for liberation according to historical facts. Because this Vision for Peace is more of a pragmatic guide advocating for a deep dialogue, it will be as brief as possible, without however ignoring core truths and facts.
Under this section, it will be instructive to recall and trace the genealogy of the Republic of Cameroon and the British Southern Cameroon for adequate comprehension. This is in line to understand the latter’s claim for right(s) to secession, self-determination and sovereignty.
From German Kamerun to British Southern Cameroon
After WWI, Britain and France jointly invaded the German colonies, which included those in Africa, in 1916, and on March 17 1916 German Kamerun was partitioned between the two invaders (Elango, L. 1987). One-fifth of the territory that consisted of the disjointed narrow strips stretching from Lake Chad to the Atlantic Coast along Eastern Nigeria went to Britain and France got four-fifths of the rest . Following Article 22 of the League of Nations , the territories were administered as mandated territories.
Pursuant to the British Cameroon Administration Ordinance in 1924, Britain further divided British Cameroons into Northern and Southern Cameroons (Anyangwe C. 2009), and ruled them separately but governed them as integral part of Nigeria. This means, Northern Cameroon was merged into Northern Nigeria, meanwhile Southern Cameroons as eastern region of Nigeria . They both shared issues of common interest (Nigeria’s constitution, budget, administration legal system etc..), and the Commissioner for Southern Cameroons answered to Lieutenant Governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria and ultimately the Governor-General of Nigeria.
This system remained the same until the trusteeship era, when in 1954, Southern Cameroons was accorded autonomy. It became a self-governing territory with a quasi-regional status within the Nigerian Federation (Chem-Langhee, B 2011). Following the trusteeship Council Resolution, Southern Cameroons had self-governing institutions including an executive, a judiciary, a bicameral legislature, a civil service and police force .
In 1958, the United Nation mission in their report held that Southern Cameroon had evolved and could achieve independence in 1960. This was in line with the provision set out in the United Nations (UN) Charter article 76(b) . Ultimately, by 1959, Southern Cameroon became a self-governing region within the Nigerian Federation.
Did the Defective Decolonization Process Birth the Anglophone Crisis?
Without any doubt, decolonization was at the centre of United Nations existence following article 76 of the Charter. To this effect, the Trusteeship Council was the secretariat to ensure smooth decolonization of Trust Territories to independent states , within a set timeframe pursuant to United Nation General Assembly – UNGA resolution 1413(XIV) . However, such process of transitioning Trust Territories was not going to alter or amend boundaries, political system/status and identity. They had to be maintained (UNGA Resolution 649, 1951).
Noteworthy was that, political, social or educational unpreparedness or inadequacy to transitioning a Trust Territory was immaterial, meaning Southern Cameroon could achieve independence by 1960 (Cassese. A).
With all these modalities laid out for effective decolonization, let us examine how it went.
The Decolonization Process
According to the UN records (UNGA Resolution 1282), Southern Cameroon was expected to gain independence in 1960. Ultimately, through a Plebiscite held in Mamfe, Southern Cameroonian opted with a clear majority for self-determination, void of any links with Nigeria nor The Republic of Cameroon (Anyangwe, C 2008).
Up until this level, things seemed perfect. Not until two ideologies that would change a People’s fate for decades emerged; firstly, Britain doubted the preparedness of the Southern Cameroonians to achieve independence and did not want to burden British Taxpayers (Omoigui 1950-1975). Secondly, the pan-Africanist Movement piloted by Dr Kwame Nkrumah strongly denounced the emergence of small states.
Consequently, in March 13, 1959 the UNGA amended initially adopted plans by re-adopting resolution 1350(XIII) recommending a Plebiscite to get the wishes of the People concerning their right to self-determination. The date for this historic event was slated to hold between September 30 1960 and March 1961 through resolution 1352(XIV) of October 16 1959.
The Decolonization Error
The Southern Cameroonian counterparts expected the Plebiscite choice between ‘integration with Nigeria’ or ‘Secession and independence’. Rather the UN imposed differently the following questions:
Question 1: Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the independent Federation of Nigeria? Or
Question 2: Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the independent The Republic of Cameroon?
According to some historians, a third option to ‘to gain independence by being independent’ was missing. See the case of French Togoland, wherein the Trusteeship Council renounced the proposed plebiscite questions on grounds that the questions did not include a choice for independence . Therefore, the result of the Plebiscite was against the will of the people, who had preferred an independence (Mazrui & Tidy 1984).
The resolution 1608 (UNGA Resolution 1608) outlined the modalities for the Trusteeship Termination era, and according to paragraph 4, the deadline was scheduled for October 1 1961 (the day the Southern Cameroon was to join the Republic of Cameroon). Captivating among the modalities is the request for the Administering Authority (Trusteeship Council), the Government of Southern Cameroon and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon to initiate roundtable discussions to set the basis and policies of the union. This discussion was supposed to precede the final termination of the Trusteeship period, then, after which the final and official joining with the Republic of Cameroon on October 1 1961.
Unfortunately, the report of the Trusteeship Council of 1962 established the termination period of the Trusteeship ear, and the eventual unionism of Southern Cameroon to The Republic of Cameroon, and no tripartite discussions ever held as mentioned in resolution 1608. With this inconsistency notwithstanding, the Union Jack was lowered down on the Southern Cameroon’s territory on October 30 1961, thereby officially transferring sovereignty to the Republic of Cameroon. This move was inconsistent with resolution 1608. However, the event birthed the Federal Republic of Cameroon, wherein both sides envisaged a liberal federation with a bicultural society, while preserving the distinctive features of both parties (Omoigui N.).
2.2 CHAPTER II B: The Birth of the Anglophone Problem
In July 1961, the Foumban Constitutional Conference was held to draft the federal constitution that would be the basis for the union. To some experts this was just another core tragedy that fuelled secession sentiments (Awasom, F. 1998). The respective parliaments of both parties has to ratify this draft federal constitution to qualify it as an ‘Act of Union’, as a common parliament was yet to be created. This ‘Act of Union’ would then be registered in the UN Secretariat as consistent with Article 102 of its Charter.
Instead, it is purported that former President Ahmadou Ahidjo imposed a document for the Southern Cameroon delegation to review within two days (Anyangwe, C. 2009). It is alleged that all recommendations to serve as the basis for the creation of a federal constitution, including robust states, a bill of rights, a bicameral legislature and location of federal capital were vehemently rejected by the Republic of Cameroon (Mbile. N. 2000). All efforts made by the Southern Cameroon delegation was further rejected (Mbile 2000). Eventually, the Republic of Cameroon-led draft constitution (supposed federal constitution) was adopted as a law amending the former Constitution existing in the Republic of Cameroon.
According to Carlson Anyangwe, this adopted constitution was an annexation law, and he compares it to the German annexation of Austria, and Morocco of Western Sahara (Anyangwe 2010). The upshot of this supposed annexation law invariably established a centralized federation, as its article 5, 6, 15 , 47 and 59 deprived Southern Cameroon of control over major institutions including Administration, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Higher Education and Scientific Research – Article 5 and 6 precisely (Nkwi W.). However, the constitution failed to establish the management of Revenue from the extractive sector, even though Southern Cameroon gave up their resources. (Manasse 2002)
2.3 CHAPTER II C: The Evolution of the Anglophone Problem to an Anglophone Crisis
At this point, two federal states existed: Southern Cameroon turned Federal State of West Cameroon, while The Republic of Cameroon turned Federal State of East Cameroon. Since the masterminded constitution gave the president overwhelming powers to rule by decrees, the former President decreed the Federal State of West Cameroon into an Administrative Region, and appointed an ‘Inspecteur Fédéral d’Adminitsrtaion’ to head it. To make matters worse, this political appointee reported directly to the President, undermining the authority of the puppet Prime Minister of the Federal State of West Cameroon (Ardener 1998).
In 1966, multi-party democracy was replaced with one-party state/rule. The former President restricted freedom of expression and opinion, information and press, assembly and association, as far as movements .
In March 1972, the former President announced the abolishment of the Federal system unilaterally (Nkwain 2013), without consulting the federal legislative institutions in placed . This was in outright violation of articles 2(1), (8) and 47(1) (2) (4) of the 1961 constitution (Breton 1979). Preceding the former President’s announcement, a flawed referendum was organized in May (Anyangwe C. 2008). Hence, the United Republic of Cameroon was born, and this only fuelled the pain that would burst in 2016. The loss of autonomy of Southern Cameroon to be coerced into taking a subordinate position under the unitary republic, only grew Anglophone resentments.
Under the unitary state, Anglophones decried under-representation and secondary roles in public affairs, and exploitation of natural resources (Konings & Nyamnjoh). This followed several petitions from Southern Cameroon representatives accusing French regimes of an attempt of francophonizing West Cameroon (Muna S. 1984).
In 1984, the name of the nation amongst others including flag, and state symbols were changed from the United Republic of Cameroon to The Republic of Cameroon, the same name that French Cameroon adopted prior to independence in 1960 .
This is the background of the problem dubbed the ‘Anglophone Problem’; core to it is successive marginalization of the minority. They are second-class citizens in a Francophone-dominated nation (Anyefru 2010). Apparently, since 1961 no Anglophone has ever held critical position in institutions including Ministry of Finance, Territorial Administration , Education, Health, SONARA , and SNH . This is the ‘ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM’.
Prior to 2016, it is instructive to recall that, Anglophone had had several attempts at self-determination. With the advent of multi-party politics re-introduced in 1990, Anglophones created associations/movements to renounce Frenchification through assimilation – French dominance (Dongmo 2008). Several pro-federalism political and social groups were birth (Konings & Nyamnjoh).
In 1993, the Anglophones organized the All Anglophone Conference (AAC), which advocated for federalism, whereas the government preferred decentralization . Disgruntled Anglophone activist further created the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC), whose main objective was outright separation to pre-1960 era (Konings & Nyamnjoh).
In their quest for a breakaway, the SCNC was assisted by organizations including the Southern Cameroons People Organization (SCAPO), Free West Cameroon Movement (FWCM), and the recent Ambazonian Movement (AM). (Konings & Nyamnjoh). Other groups like the Teachers Association of Cameroon (TAC) and the Confederation of Anglophone Parents-Teachers Association (CAPTAC) pressed for educational reforms. (Nyamnjoh. F 1996).
On December 30, 1999, the SCNC proclaimed the revival of Southern Cameroon as a separate and independent state. The SCNC youths wing the Southern Cameroon Youth League (SCYL) and SCAPO adopted strategies for the restoration of the Anglophone state.
In 2003, SCNC and SCAPO brought an indictment against the Republic of Cameroon before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, claiming their right to self-determination. The SCNC has addressed specific organs of the UN including the Commission on Human Rights accusing the Republic of Cameroon of illegal annexation and occupation (Fru-Anye 2008).
The Historic October 11, 2016
Fast forward to 2016 when the English lawyers (from the Anglophone regions of South West-Coastal Forest and North West-Savannah) went on strike (BBC 2107, Aljazeera 2016). They protested against widespread marginalization of the Anglophone linguistic, cultural, educational and legal systems and calling for a return to the federal state. The strike further degenerated into armed violence for which, several people have been killed (Loh 2017). Tensions have escalated severely with massive violation of Human Rights from both sides (Lunn 2018, Amnesty International 2018).
Protesters and military have been killed, thousands behind bars, and internet lockdown for several months. The Anglophones responded with civil disobedience, including school boycotts through ‘ghost towns’. Some activist have been charged with anti-terror indictments and have been tried and sentenced before military courts (Amnesty International).
In 2017, the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium United Front unilaterally called for the independence of Southern Cameroons, but this was met with brutal clashes between security forces and the Ambazonian restoration fighters. As much as 17 people were killed . Following the delay in a consensus, Cameroon has seen the creation of opposition groups like Ambazonia Defence Forces and the Red Dragons , who have gained momentum considerably.
This armed confrontation has resulted with over 40 000 refugees in neighbouring Nigeria (UNHCR) and one million internally displace (Center for Human Rights…). This is the ‘ANGLOPHONE CRISIS’.
2.4 CHAPTER II D: Is upholding the Right to Self-Determination, Secession and the Independence of Ambazonian Statehood the ONLY Way Forward?
Some very intelligent persons have termed the Anglophone problem as an institutional fantasy. This Vision for Peace wishes to reiterate that, it is indeed an institutional fantasy but a legitimate one. This Vision for Peace seeks to propose solutions based on effective comprehension of the root causes of the problem/crisis. This section seeks to determine the legal basis for the Anglophone’s demand for their right to self-determination. In addition, if legitimate, could another solution substitute this legitimate quest?
Determining Southern Cameroon’s Right to Self-determination
The UN Charter proclaimed self-determination as an objective to be achieved within the context of ‘friendly relations’ and ‘equality of peoples and self-determination’ (United Nations). Over time, the definition evolved to include ‘People’ having a right to choose their international status pursuant to article 73(b), and further mandated colonizers to ‘develop self-government, [for the colonial territories – Southern Cameroon] to take due account of the political aspirations of [Southern Cameroon] and to assist them [Southern Cameroonians] in the progressive development of their free political institutions…’.
The modalities outlined for the effective implementation of this was further buttressed in article 76(b).
However, to achieve this objective, the UNGA adopted two relevant resolutions – 1514 & 1541. The former proclaimed the right to self-determination; meanwhile the latter outlined the various methods through which effective and legal decolonization had to be carried out (GA Resolution 1960): seceding to form a new state, association with an existing one and/or integration into an existing one.
The conventional right to self-determination is valid in the context of Southern Cameroon’s decolonization , as upheld by the ICJ in the repressive cases of Namibia . Indeed, the legal basis for a people of Southern Cameroon to exercise their right to Self-determination is not a fantasy. It is indeed grounded, especially for two major reasons. Firstly, Southern Cameroon quest to exercise their right to self-determination was exclusively within the context of external colonialization. Secondly, they are a people who happened to have lived within colonial boundaries drawn by colonizers , and the very act of colonialism created new legal status for the colonial entity, and therefore defines the status-quo that may ensue.
To substantiate, ICJ applied the same for the definition of the People in the Island of Timor case (ICJ, 1995). Indonesia laid claim to East Timor and advocated for the unification with West Timor, and eventually with Indonesia itself. Ultimately, East and West Timor were under Portuguese and Dutch colonial leadership respectively. This entitled them to self-determination, as separate entities. Indonesia’s subsequent annexation of the Island was understood as a violation of the right to self-determination, and the ensued referendum was in favour of independence.
Under the colonial text therefore, the entire territory as defined by the colonizers were intrinsically entitled to the exercise of the right to self-determination. (ICJ, Case 1986). This principle of ‘uti possidetis’ became the landmark of international law as applied in the dissolution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union .
Determining Southern Cameroon’s Right to Secession
There are several other ‘people’s right’ that could potentially make a case for Southern Cameroon including, the Right to Indigenous and Minority Protection , the Right to Self-Determination but the most critical of them all is the Right to Secession. The right to secession is as a result of a broader definition of the right to self-determination.
As the crisis intensify, the Anglophones continue to decry marginalization because of systematic discrimination by the government. The government did not meet expectations and hence the Anglophones resorted to their quest for secession.
However tangible their demands may be, worthy of note is the fact that, the right to secession is usually exceptional rather than the standard. On the other hand, for the GoC on its part to maintain its national security considerations and sovereignty, the onus of proof relies on her to show that it is representative of all peoples to its territory without discrimination .
If anything, the Anglophones must illustrate in what manner they have been victims of discrimination and marginalization according to paragraph 7 of the Friendly Relations Declaration and Article 5 of the Declarations on the Celebration Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations.
Grounds for Secession:
According to the author’s research, two main points could give Southern Cameroon right to Secession: Firstly, pursuant to the facts aforementioned, the Republic of Cameroon usurped legislative authority to legislate on behalf of the people of Southern Cameroon by amending the 1960 constitution on September 1 1961 without due participation of the people (representatives) of Southern Cameroon. This, according to historians led to consistent marginalization and discrimination of anglophones.
Secondly, following the supreme court of Canada, which held that, a people could have a right to secede if their linguistics rights are violated, and/or they do not have a fair representation in national legislative, executive and judicial sectors, and/or their culture faces threats of extinction .
Nonetheless, for a secession plea to catch international attention, the secessionist must demonstrate certain intrinsic values of statehood following the Montevideo Convention .
2.5 CHAPTER II E: Could a Beneficial and Realistic One-State Solution be a Plan-B?
According to international documents consulted, it could be legally correct to proclaim that Southern Cameroon has the intrinsic right to self-determination, and the right to protection of the Minority. However, these rights must not necessarily make expression in the right of secession. Other states have made mighty strides in development with effective decentralization and/or federalism/confederation in place.
This Vision for Peace has one core objective – peace through peaceful means and at all cost. It is my humble opinion that effective and workable decentralization and/or federalism could be worth more when measured to the untold pains that accompanies the quest and fight for secession. This section of this Vision for Peace is not denying the legal basis for the quest for secession, however, it proposes an institutional arrangement that could preserve the linguistic rights, cultural heritage and curb discrimination/marginalization in Southern Cameroon.
With decentralization comes deconcentrating of executive powers, more rural/community delegation, and citizens’ involvement, devolution of state’s affairs as well as high levels of private sector involvement through various privatization models. Moreover, whoever talks about effective decentralization, should be talking about institutions, as successful decentralization depends on them.
This Vision for Peace is not meant to educate on the pros and cons of decentralization, rather it is meant to highlight other avenues for peace. The type of institutions and structures on which decentralization will work will be negotiated on the dialogue table. This Vision for Peace is meant to bring these parties to the table.
One-State Solution under Effective Decentralization
In a post-conflict scenario given the context of Cameroon, implementing an effective decentralized system, including the disintegration of the centrality of executive power is of utmost importance. Decentralization would increase accountability because users or even voters within the context of electoral pluralism could observe the productivity and efforts of Cameroon legislators whom they could vote in office. In other words, the diffusion of key government functions to the local levels will promote inclusion, especially as social exclusion/segmentation and/or political marginalization is at the root cause of the conflict. Without any doubt, decentralization will limit the contest over centralized power.
Effective decentralization will provide structural arrangements to facilitate the involvement of Anglophones in policy decisions on their own development. It will serve as a means through which resource allocation, improved service delivery and better prospects for peace could be realized.
Decentralization will further bring the government of Cameroon closer to Anglophones and give impetus to increased voice and accountability, as is the case in Morocco. More broadly, Moroccan civil or public servants of the government services had a stronger voice in expressing their satisfaction with the quality and equity of provision of these services.
Looking at the deeper meaning of decentralization should tell us some more. It is simply increasing the number of more autonomous platforms within which previously centralized public authority is exercised. In other words, anything that was done by the central authority in Yaoundé could be replicated at the local levels – in Southern Cameroon (Achu, M 2019). If this could be, then, decentralization will increase the opportunities for policy innovations (Campbell 2003) and emergence of effective leaders (Tendler 1997).
CHAPTER III: PROCEEDURE FOR A CEASEFIRE, THROUGH MEANINGFUL CONCESSIONS FROM BOTH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON AND THE AMBAZONIAN RESTORATION FORCES – AN APPROACH TO DEEP DIALOGUE
Considering the fact that violence persist in the North and South West regions of Cameroon, means all attempt at restoring peace ended in a fiasco. This is not an analysis to throw blames but an opportunity for more suggestions to be made. Not because those attempts failed that, we will stop trying to move forward. In fact, failure to move forward could have devastating consequences.
This section seeks to suggest those compromises that could engender deep dialogue between the GoC and the Ambazonian Restoration Forces. However, prior to highlighting these suggestions, it will be instructive to examine the moves made by the GoC and the results it brought.
3.1 CHAPTER III A: The author’s impartial commentaries on the unilateral concession made by the Government of the Republic of Cameroon: – ‘Historic National Dialogue’ and its resolution – ‘Special Status’ Granted to the Regions of Southern Cameroon’
The Major National Dialogue (MND)
The GoC instigated this initiative, as a move towards enhancing peace and stability in the restive Anglophone regions. This is commendable and appreciated as part of the peace process organized by the GoC. However, the results on ground proves that the MND did not conform to international standards of negotiating a violent conflict.
Firstly, the MND that was supposed to be a component of a larger peacebuilding context failed to provide a comprehensive and integrative approach in the art of conflict transformation. The MND presented itself as a fixed recipe, or ready-made product to solve such a complex and sophisticated crisis. The MND was supposed to implore peacebuilding techniques and creativity to match the complex nature of the crisis. For instance, the GoC could designate a neutral third party engage the dialogue process with prior discussions between the armed groups, so as to instigate each conflict party in the process of self-reflection, and the exploration of the unconscious dimensions of the crisis formation.
Secondly, according to the TRANSCEND perspective of conflict transformation it is to enable the people (Anglophones in this case) to be self-reliant/self-confident or autonomous in dealing with the Anglophone crisis using peaceful means. The Ambazonian fighters are cynical about the whole process and thinks they were excluded in the dialogue process. This spells the reasons for the backlashes and deadlocks ongoing on Ground-Zero. Moreover, when exclusionary reasons surface on any dialogue, there is bound to be what is called a Bargaining Failure and violence becomes even harsher and deadlier. The Ambazonian fighters and their leaders felt excluded and refused to accept whether or not there was any dialogue.
Thirdly, the MND did not consider a multiple orientation approach based on deep dialogue and polilogue as a method of delving into the conflict proper. The purpose of this is to prepare the parties (GoC and Restoration Forces and their Leaders) to be ready to negotiate. Most often, the parties are worked on separately, including developing their vertical interdependence for creative negotiation and mediation.
Firstly, mention should be made that this resolution for a Special Status to the Anglophone regions is a sign of Government’s commitment to make concessions geared towards solving the Anglophone problem. Therefore, any further suggestions are more or less complementaries to contribute in the quest for a lasting solution to the crisis.
This article is not against Special Status, but against the processes involved. This was supposed to be born out of deep dialogue and negotiation between the GoC and the Liberation fighters of Ambazonia and/or their leaders. A unilateral declaration of a Special Status may not work. The organizers of the MND did not consider the international standard procedures of conflict transformation, resolution and management, thereby illegitimating the process for a legitimate result. Look at Ukraine, which in an attempt to quell the separatist war ravaging the country offered a Special Status to separatist controlled regions in Eastern Ukraine. Nevertheless, this was born out of negotiations through mediation in Paris between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany built on an already existing 2015-peace treaty/agreement.
The anglophone crisis originated from a failed decolonization process, in which the quest for a solution should not disregard international law, UN resolutions, African Union Charter, and other due and standard processes of union treaty negotiation, conflict resolution/transformation and management and territorial administration. Furthermore, some analyst argue that, the GoC has no legal right to place Anglophones under the Special Status, basing their arguments on the absence of a Union Treaty between both parties. They assert that, both the Republic of Cameroon and Southern Cameroon were both Class B Mandate Trust Territory-ies, under French and British rule respectively. Therefore, Southern Cameroon remains a separate people, and as such have all rights ascribed under international law of a People. These include the inalienable right to total freedom, the right to self-determination, the right to secession and the integrity of their national territory (Resolution 1514 –XV of December 14, 1960). In all, Union Treaties are birth ONLY through negotiation, as was required by UN resolution 1608 (XV), operative paragraph 5, of April 21 1961, to be ratified by the Southern Cameroons House of Assembly and House of Chiefs as it were.
In conclusion, it is a truism that the Special Status has established the Regional Executive Council, Regional House of Chiefs, Regional House of Representatives and other organs to diffuse the centrality of decision making. None of these will stand if it is not born through negotiations between the GoC and the Ambazonian Governing Council acting through the Ambazonian Restoration Collaborative Council (ARCC).
3.2 CHAPTER III B: This Vision for Peace proposes other concessions for the attention of the Government of the Republic of Cameroon:
To start, I would say a ceasefire to stop the violence and killings is of utmost importance. The Special Status should proceed a ceasefire, but the question is this? What would incentivize both the GoC and the Restoration forces to drop down arms? Special Status resolution unfortunately did not ensure any form of Cessation of Hostilities.
Without doubt, the GoC has tried in several ways to ensure peace, even though none of them worked out. For instance between December 2016 to January 2017, the GoC held talks with striking unions but police crackdown collapsed negotiations . Around March of 2017, the GoC made efforts to meet the demands of the Anglophones by redeploying francophone teachers, recruiting 1000 bilingual teachers, and creating a commission for bilingualism and multiculturalism . Further, the GoC created the Common Law bench at the Supreme Court and the National School of Administration Magistracy and the introduction of Common Law departments at Francophone’s universities . According to the International Crisis Group, these adjustments were too minor to cause any major impacts.
If all of the above could not stop the violence and bring parties to a deep dialogue, then more concessions could be proposed.
Partial-Freedom to Ambazonian leaders:
Without controversy, the Ambazonia Defence Forces/Fighters take instructions from both their diasporan and national leaders (especially those behind bars). The diaspora collaboration is of utmost importance if there must be a ceasefire, and these ones desire to see their collaborators freed from prison. Releasing these leaders and gaining the confidence of the diaspora are two mutually reinforcing elements.
But also, the GoC fears a backlash if these leaders are released, as they could stir and/or heighten the violence once they are freed. The GoC also feels its national integrity is been threatened and laws have been violated that should be punishable.
Could the GoC partially release these leaders, and perhaps place them under surveillance and get them to instruct the fighters to drop down arms? Of a certitude, once the Ambazonian diaspora leaders understands that their fellow comrades had been released on concessionary basis, they would cooperate to ensure a ceasefire. Some may ask, what about the GoC’s military presence in the regions? That will be answered later.
Demilitarization Dynamics and other Security Considerations:
In order not to incite violence and retaliation from the Ambazonian Defence Forces, the GoC could demilitarize the regions leaving the usual Police officers for legitimate security concerns. The widespread of small and light weapons have become rampant, as insecurity will definitely be an issue. The military personnel of the GoC and the Ambazonian leaders should discuss and negotiate these concerns with signed security-consideration agreements/ceasefire.
Redeployment of trained Military/Police peacebuilders:
To ensure effective civilian collaboration with the military, a training toolkit for military peacebuilders could be initiated. This is simply to enhance the concept of ‘military camaraderie’ towards civilians, as was the case of Rwanda.
Actively engage in Broader Peace-making and Peacebuilding Consultations with Experts:
As far as research could bring me, I perceive this crisis as a socio-political and identity-related (culturization) than a criminal one. Politicians have done well in their various capacities and endeavours, however, experts in peacebuilding, conflict management and peacekeeping must be consulted for a comprehensive peace plan and topics for negotiation while preparing for an inclusive dialogue table. Third party consultations will ease tension and further demonstrate the political will of government officials in solving this crisis.
Mentioned should be made that, more considerations are permitted, as these do not pretend to exhaust all avenues for more concessions. However, let these ones serve as a platform for more suggestions. Otherwise, this crisis could go on for decades upon decades, as was the case of Eritrea that lasted for 26years. Despite the thousands of soldiers that Ethiopia committed into eliminating the Eritrean People Liberation Front (EPLF), it kept on. Guerrilla warfare fighters are never in a haste to terminate the war, which is why it took South Sudanese People Liberation Movement over 21years in South Sudan; it took the Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) over 20years in East Timor; the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) 11years in Mozambique; the Zimbabwean African National Liberation Army 16years in Zimbabwe.
Time is not on our side.
3.3 CHAPTER III C: This Vision for Peace proposes concessions for the attention of the Ambazonian Restoration Forces and their partially freed Leaders
Stop all forms of arbitrary kidnaps and abduction:
One clear attitude to illustrate goodwill in conflict resolution processes is to cease from arbitrary kidnaps for ransom. This alone is punishable by both national and international conventions, including Cameroon. Any form of detention, asportation, seizure or inveiglement is unacceptable at this time, if not for anything, for the peace process. To show good faith, this Vision for Peace is calling on the Restoration fighters to STOP all forms of arbitrary kidnappings and unlawful killings.
Stop all forms of political propaganda that enhances the incitement to violence:
One critical impediment to peace processes in this contemporary time characterized by social media warfare is political propaganda through misinformation for private interest. Worse still, these information falsehoods most often incite violence in fellow Cameroonians. With such despicable acts of vandalism and violence, this Vision for Peace may not yield anything. Therefore, all forms of political propaganda should stop for peace processes to have a chance.
Ensue the effective collaboration of the Southern Cameroon’s diaspora:
The Cameroon diaspora is one of the largest amongst African countries, with other countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana etc. The massive influence of the diaspora could be both negative and positive. For the purposes of peace, we are requesting the positive collaboration of the Cameroon diaspora, as they are an integral part of this peace process.
Note should be taken that, these points are not in themselves topics meant for the dialogue table, rather they are simply suggestions to halt violence, establish a convivial environment for peace initiatives to be mediated upon, while bringing the parties to a dialogue table. The team of mediators, who ultimately will form part of the Ceasefire Committee will shuttle between the parties for lasting peace solutions.
Seek nonviolence as a means of conflict resolution:
This Vison for Peace seeks peace through peaceful means and advocates for nonviolent means of conflict management and resolution. Peace through peaceful means targets principles and not persons, unlike violence that targets persons and not principles. Therefore, this Vison for Peace is calling on all Cameroonians and sundry, to consolidate this Vision for Peace within the context of nonviolent conflict resolution mechanisms. This simply means, violence should cease, so that, children could resume school.
3.4 CHAPTER III D: This Vision for Peace proposes additional concession for the attention of both the Government of the Republic of Cameroon and the Ambazonian Restoration Forces
STOP all forms of Human Right Abuses:
Without any doubt, both sides have violated Human Rights abuses, per the submission to the United Kingdom Parliament of October 30, 2019 . It is alleged that, the GoC violated human rights including widespread destruction of state and private property , extrajudicial and unlawful killings (Amnesty International 2107 & Peter 2018), arbitrary and illegal detention , torture, inhumane conditions , arbitrary punishment and humiliation, sexual assault and rape , freedom of expression and assembly violations , and unlawful arrest of journalist. On the side of the Restoration Forces, violation against human rights were rampant including unlawful killings and violence against civilians , arson attacks, rampant and unlawful kidnappings, and right to education and child welfare abuses . This is not the platform to analyse the data on Human Right abuses, as there are organizations apt for that, rather, this Vision for Peace emphatically suggest that, for peace to reign there is the need to cease from human right violations to enable credible international organizations to assist in this peace process.
The purpose of this sub-section is not to determine the elements of a ceasefire agreement that serves to facilitate the implementation and sustainability of peace agreements; rather it is an integral part in the whole peacebuilding component. It is also not a ceasefire modality of a one size-fits-all basis; however, it should be regarded as a prescriptive suggestive therapy seeking lasting solutions for the Cameroon crisis, with ceasefire as a component.
First, the Anglophone crisis is not a frozen conflict, meaning an all-inclusive ceasefire could pave the way for lasting solutions for this intra-state violence. This call for ceasefire will not outline the modalities that will guide the ceasefire geographical lines (lines of engagements), or lines from which the forces are required to withdraw nor what zones must be demilitarized, as these will serve the basis for the Ceasefire Committee or Group. This literature is meant to incentivize armed groups to see the manifold benefits to cease from offensive gunfire.
What is Anglophone Crisis Ceasefire Agreement (ACCA?)
Ubiquitously, ceasefire can take various forms and have different purposes depending on the specific context in which a ceasefire is implemented. The use of the terminology covers a panoply of social and conflict-related phenomenon, ranging from loose, to informal and unilateral arrangements to more formal, bi- or multilateral agreements to stop violence and negotiate a Peace Agreement (PA). For the Anglophone Crisis specifically, the ACCA should take the formal or multilateral ceasefire to enable the contradictory parties give respite to the traumatized population caught between gunshots from the military and the Ambazonia Restoration Forces.
However, it should and will not be used as a military strategy to trick the Restoration fighters into surrendering their weapons; otherwise, a bigger war shall ensue. This ceasefire will provide a ‘peaceful’ environment void of gunshots, killings and maiming for political negotiations to go on aiming at a comprehensive political settlement, as was the case of Columbia .
Nonetheless, the ACCA in itself will not have the capacity to address the political, socio-economic, judicial and cultural contradictions of the conflict, only the Peace Agreement through negotiations will. However, the ACCA will therefore entail all arrangements between the Restoration Forces of Ambazonia and the GoC to halt violence for a specific time, as always is the case for standard and effective ceasefire procedures. Unlike the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) type of ceasefire, which gears towards the halting of violence exclusively and without provision to monitor compliance, the Definitive and/or Preliminary Ceasefire(s) provides for violence reduction clauses, compliance monitoring, as well as provides provisions for disarmament and demobilization of conflict parties. Therefore, the Disarmament, Demobilizations and Reintegration (DDR) committee created by a presidential decree was supposed to be an integral part of the entire ceasefire and peace processes.
The role of ACCA
The Pre-negotiation phase: The usefulness of ACCA could be determined at various phases of the peace negotiations. During the preliminary phase for example, it will signal an intent to the Cessation of Hostilities for political negotiations to commence. It could also set the guidelines for basic security arrangements once the negotiations starts, on the protection of civilians, demilitarized zones (commonly referred as no-fly zone) etc. At this point mediators and peace experts in collaboration with other stakeholders could draft a rudimentary roadmap entailing the broader scope of the peace-making and peacebuilding processes.
Meanwhile, at the negotiation phase, the ACCA and its secretariat (the Ceasefire Group-CG) could strategize on delinking the political negotiations from the Ground-Zero battlefield violence. Otherwise, the violence in Ground-Zero (GZ) could contaminate the negotiations, eventually leading to the concept of Bargaining Failures or Collapse of Negotiations, which could intensify the violence to heights unimaginable. Therefore, to stabilize and insulate the political negotiations process to make it void of any GZ violence interference or political bad faith, the CG (Ceasefire Group) should advocate for an Anglophone Crisis Preliminary Ceasefire Agreement (ACPCA). The aim of the ACPCA is to stop the violence, but further put in place com¬pliance mechanisms such as monitoring and verification provisions that will help im¬prove the robustness and resilience of the ACCA as a whole. The Anglophone Crisis Preliminary Ceasefires Agreement should include a commitment to a political nego-tiation process from the GoC, which can be in the form of a framework agreement or negotiation agenda, to demonstrate a clearer trajectory towards the broader political goals.
Conflict parties collaborate meaningfully at the Preliminary Ceasefire phase because it often represents a sig¬nificant form of confidence building that increases not only the chances of successful implementation, but also the space for the parties to practice future collaboration. This is essentially important given the lack of political trust that looms. Due to the lack of such trust, Preliminary Ceasefires always leaves arms in the hands of combatants, just in case bad faith steps in.
More interesting is the role of an ACCA in the implementation of negotiation phase. The ACCA will enhance the process to the Peace Agreement (PA) and/or Definitive Ceasefire, which will include provisions for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of the Amba Boys, as well as changes to the structure of the Cameroon’s security forces. Amba boys or Restoration Fighters are only likely to agree to such provisions if they are satisfied that they are going to achieve some of their political aims. As a re¬sult, the negotiation of an Anglophone Crisis Definitive Ceasefire (ACDC) will take place towards the end of the negotia¬tion process. Once the political solution is established, then, the ACDC could take steps in transitioning Cameroon from the status of war to peace.
Two broad approaches of ACCA
The Ideal Approach: In the ideal approach, the GoC and the Restoration Forces of Ambazonia, and a third party observer agrees on an Anglophone Crisis Preliminary Ceasefire Agreement (ACPCA) prior to, and dur¬ing negotiations. The ACPCA will create the space for negotiating the issues underlying the crisis. In the Philippines, for example, a preliminary ceasefire was in place for years while the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negotiated first a framework agreement and later a comprehensive peace accord. In the case of the Sudan North-South peace process, only a geo¬graphically limited ceasefire was in place in the Nuba Mountains in the early phases of the negotiations. As such, the negotia¬tions began in the absence of a preliminary ceasefire. After a major military battle around and within the city of Torit in southern Sudan seriously undermined the negotiations, the parties agreed to a pre¬liminary form of a ceasefire with a Verifi¬cation and Monitoring Team (VMT) un¬der the responsibility of the Chief Mediator General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. This stayed in place for the remainder of the negotiations. Therefore, the ACPCA is of utmost importance in the peace process.
The Parallel Approach: In the parallel approach of implementing the ACCA, the GoC and the Restoration Forces/leaders could negotiate the issues pertaining to the crisis in the absence of a pre-liminary ceasefire. This is most common in cases where previous peace efforts have failed like the Historic Major National Dialogue. With the presence of too many political propaganda, both sides may decide to talk while fighting. This could prevent both sides from using the ACPCA for private gains but it is not very advisable as violence in GZ could contaminate negotiations. Even without a Preliminary Ceasefire, efforts are always made to de-escalate violence. For example, in Colombia, a number of unilat¬eral ceasefires and scaled Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were used, which developed in relation to the situa¬tion on the ground and the progress made in the political negotiations.
In both the ideal and parallel ap¬proach, both parties need to continuously build trust through a series of “successful” security arrangements during the nego¬tiation phase to be able to implement the definitive cease¬fire. For example, in the Central African Republic, numerous definitive ceasefire agreements with clauses for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegra¬tion have failed. This could be due to the failure of the political negotiations, but also due to the inability of the parties to agree to CoH or preliminary ceasefires prior to the definitive ceasefire.
Anglophone Crisis Ceasefire Agreement (ACCA) may fail for ONE reason
The success of ceasefire agreements are mostly dependent on certain key factors. Notably, from a conflict management perspective, ceasefire reduce violence for the most, rather than suspend it (for example the Minsk Agreement in Ukraine). If at all, they suspend violence for a time, for example the Kofi Annan-mediated ceasefire early in the Syrian conflict. The quality of the provisions stipulated in a Ceasefire Agreement can determine its life span. Nonetheless, this Vision for Peace identifies one main reason that can lead to ACCA failure.
Political Will: ACCA is primarily a strategic tool to move towards the attainment of a common political objective, which may or may not include a negotiated peace agreement. The ACCA will only occur when both parties see some utility in entering into an arrangement. Both the GoC and the Restoration Forces are then likely to continue to honour the agreement as long as they perceive that this is the most effective way of moving towards their political goals. If, for example, the political process fails to make sufficient progress, or the CoH/violence is seen to be favouring one side (po¬litically or militarily), an actor may aban¬don the ceasefire and return to the violent pursuit of their goals. Similarly, if they only entered into an agreement to re-arm, re-group or otherwise gain a military advan¬tage, we may see a subsequent intensifica¬tion in the same conflict, which could see the strategic redeployment of the GoC military.
3.5 CHAPTER III E: Conduct During Negotiations (Deeper Dialogue)
Note should be mentioned that, this Vision for Peace intentionally omits the various political, socio-economic, cultural and judicial topics for negotiation. This part, including other issues like the content(s) of the Anglophone Crisis Preliminary and Definitive Ceasefire Agreement(s) and the patterns of interactions will greatly be dependent on the parties. Nonetheless, the dynamics involved in ensuring a successful ceasefire is as vital as the benefits of ceasefires themselves. They actually shape the results of an effective ceasefire:
For the Government of the Republic of Cameroon.
During the negotiations, the GoC is advised to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure a smooth peace and transition process: Restrain excessive use of hard power; engage in acts that engenders institutional and political trust; make non-provoking arrangements for security of fellow citizens; prosecute all forms of hate speech by either imprisonment or fine or both. The GoC shall engage in acts of reconciliation and forgiveness to ease pain, anger and tension deeply rooted in the hearts of anglophones.
For the Ambazonian Forces and/or Leaders.
On the other hand, the Ambazonia Restoration Forces and their leaders shall maintain and uphold the ceasefire rules with a minimum commitment to peace talks. They shall seek the cooperation and collaboration of the Cameroon diaspora in the peace process, and report any form of violence incitement as well as stop all forms of violence and political propaganda thereof; they shall seek peace at all cost; and stop all forms of Human Rights abuses.
3.6 CHAPTER III F: A Letter to the Ambazonian Restoration Forces and the Interim Government of the Ambazonian Governing Council
Dear Restoration Fighters/Leaders of Ambazonia,
I write this open letter to you all (Leaders and fighters) within the context of the ongoing conflict ravaging Cameroon. Permit me start by acknowledging all efforts towards the struggle for the search for peace and justice for the Anglophones, from both leaders and fighters. For the fallen victims, I extend my condolences from the very depth of my soul.
However, failure to move forward will have devastating consequences for both sides. This letter is a proposal that seeks to engage your minds in an all-inclusive peace-building and peace-making options and strategies. Nevertheless, without your adequate cooperation and meaningful concessions, the struggle may not achieve the political goals envisaged. This letter could incentivize your cooperation, to make room for inclusive dialogue. Without any doubt, your readiness for dialogue, as far as I can tell, will be conditioned on the political will of the GoC. However, kindly be open to receive impartial peace mediators who may approach the leaders/fighters to ignite the negotiation process.
Permit me stress this once more; your bravery for social justice is a demonstration of your undying zeal and vim in the achievement of justice itself. No one, not even our French brothers and sisters could undermine your fire for liberation. Indeed, you are all agents of change but let us use the strongest weapon – nonviolence, to resolve these issues.
I conclude this letter by calling on your civic responsibility of protecting the people. Kindly retract from arbitrary kidnaps and unlawful detention for ransom purposes. Illegitimate means will not justify legitimate goals. Every stakeholder, I can assure you based on statements from credible International Organizations are willing to be part of this second round of inclusive negotiations, reflecting international standards and procedures. Thank you very much for your kind attention, may God bless and protect you all.
Maxwell N. Achu
CHAPTER 4: SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK
4.1 CHAPTER IV A: SOCIAL FRAMEWORK
Without a substantial success of the political framework elaborated above, the quest for the implementation of the social and economic framework(s) will be in futility. They are more of complementaries and mutually reinforcing than to be viewed separately. These frameworks are projections of the enormous potentials of these regions (North West and South West) if let to unleash themselves in a peaceful environment. Socially, a peace deal or agreement could see the following occurring in these regions:
Following one of the root causes of the 2016 riots that claimed its reason towards the complete annihilation of English school systems, a peace agreement could restore these systems. This would allow Anglophones to pursue and achieve their goals through education, reflective of their cultural heritage and roots. This could proceed to education reforms to enhance access to educational opportunities to victimized communities and structure a specific context curricular including peace education to implant a peace culture.
Workforce for Development:
Through international assistance, a peace agreement could see a reduction of rural unemployment with increase occupational mobility. Without doubt, as was the case of Rwanda, International Development Assistance programs will support apprenticeships, and job placement services for war victims. Such programs will help anglophones fully prepare to enter into the job market and achieve professional goals, especially for the youth and women.
Quality Healthcare for War Victims:
Traumatized victims could see the assistance of a psychological recovery program if a peace agreement ensues. Refugees could have access to healthcare networks to provide their needed medication, supplies, vaccines and other medical equipment to provide top-quality healthcare emergencies. This would greatly reduce infant mortality rate and increase average life expectancy. Without any doubt, a peace Agreement will see a significant improvement in health outcomes throughout the war zones.
Improve Quality life for Anglophones:
Without any doubt, a peace agreement could see the rise of programs gearing towards bettering the lives of anglophones and Cameroonians as a whole. There will be both private and public investments in new cultural institutions to finance the Anglo-Saxon arts and cultural lifestyle. Such programs will transcend time, and enable the next generation to explore their creativity and improve their talents. The Anglophone regions could be turned into a cultural and recreational centre to benefit all anglophones.
More so, a Peace Agreement would further restore Anglophone’s cultural heritage, within the context of the judiciary (Common law), life style, civil society, and cultural identity as opposed to second-classed citizens’ sentiments.
Anglophones have become refugees in very high significant numbers, not to mention the internally displaced persons. A Peace Agreement however, could witness a re-settlement plan piloted by the GoC through international assistant groups including the United Nations, Care International, and a host of other social non-governmental organizations. All of these could be possible, depending on the state of peace in the country. Other countries with more devastating situations found solace in such programs that have bounced them back. Cameroon is not any different.
4.2 CHAPTER IV B: ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK
Economic Growth and Business Environment:
A lasting Peace Agreement (PA) will set the stage for New Opportunities with massive International support by building sure foundations for growth and enhance the Business Environment. This will witness new foundations for the Cameroon economy, to generate rapid economic growth and job creation for the anglophones, especially. International investors will observe the business environment prior to making giant economic investments in this part of the country, without which, FDIs will remain lowest. A lasting peace agreement will boast investors’ confidence that their investments will be secured by improving property rights, the rule of law, fiscal sustainability, capital markets and anti-corruption strategies.
A lasting peace solution will see Cameroon reinstated into the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the US foreign economic policy for the continent. This will heighten investors’ trust and confidence. This will see an increase in exports as a percentage of GDP and increase foreign direct investments in these zones.
A Peace Agreement will allow the GoC to prioritize public investments for post-conflict reconstruction in the war zones and unleash Human Potentials of the regions through Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Creating a sure foundation for growth in business begins with the anglophones themselves – increasing and exploring their economic potentials. This Vison for Peace will make that dream come true, if only a peace agreement ensues. International donor support systems could prioritize programs that further builds human potentials through investments in technical and vocational education, technology, science and engineering programs.
Private Sector Growth:
A Peace Agreement will promote Private Sector Growth in the Domains of, Tourism, Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Service Sector. The former Southern Cameroon is rich in touristic attractions cutting from the grasslands of the Northwest to the Coastal lands of the Southwest. These parts of the country is endowed with rich potential tourism opportunities. To unlock these potentials and unleash its capacity, new visitors could be seen flowing to this part of the country.
Agriculturally, farmers could have access to finance and technology, as agriculture accounts for approximately 65 percent of Anglophone’s employment. With increase local banks, capital and other reform subsidies, farmers could have the opportunity to purchase or have access to new seeds and fertilizers while developing irrigation systems.
4.3 CHAPTER IV C: GOOD GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK
Good Governance by Transforming the Business Environment:
A peace Agreement will enable the GoC implement governance policies towards achieving better economic environment, through private property rights, safeguards against corruption, and state monopoly of violence; spur international confidence, credibility and legitimacy. This is an opportunity for Cameroon to take giant steps to regain from the economic deficiencies recorded in the past three years of violence.
Good Governance through the building of decentralization institutions:
A peace agreement will see the building of just institutions created within the principles of rule of law and with clear separation of powers. This invariably means much emphasis should be on the judicial independence and the existence of bi-judicial systems, applicable to the various cultural heritages.
Equitable distribution of political positions should not be undermined, as this is core to the Anglophone’s cry of political marginalization in the affairs of the state. A strong judicial system will wade off potential abuse from government officials in the mistreatment of their subjects. Even more importantly, transparency, accountability and a vibrant civil society are all too critical in shaping the governance systems in any country.
Competing Interest: The author (Maxwell N. Achu) declares not having any competing interest that exist
Author’s contribution: Maxwell N. Achu is the sole author of this document
Ethical consideration: This research work followed all ethical standards for carrying out research, including direct interviews from the Ambazonian leaders, Government officials and the Civil Society
Data Availability: Data sharing is not applicable to this document as no new data were created in the study
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency the author is affiliated
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