By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Friday, January 17, 2020.
The East African country of Kenya will host a Symposium on Cameroon, the Africa Forum, a grouping of former African Heads of State and Government and other African leaders said in a communiqué.
In the letter dated December 24, 2019, written by Dr. John A Tesha, a national of the United Republic of Tanzania currently Executive Secretary of the Forum for Former African Heads of State and Government, commonly known as the Africa Forum, the Forum has set the date and venue for the Symposium as April 2020 in Kenya.
The letter also opines five hundred (500) Cameroonians will be invited to participate in the Symposium, representing a variety of stakeholders, including opinion leaders, civil society, the government of Cameroon, political parties, traditional authorities, religious bodies, different groups, youth leaders, the Cameroonian Diaspora and more.
The organizers say the objective of the Symposium, as stated in an earlier communiqué of July 02, 2019, is to inform the Forum on the ongoing challenges facing the Central African country and to lend its support to the peaceful resolution of those challenges.
“The Forum will count on the goodwill of the invited participants to have an open and honest dialogue which will be the building block on which a lasting solution to the crisis in Cameroon may be attained,” the letter stated.
The letter also stated that the forum on August 28, 2019, launched a website for the Symposium at http://symposiumcameroon.com, as a platform for Cameroonians to contribute by sharing their perspectives on the causes and potential solutions to the crises currently affecting Cameroon.
Cameroon is in its third year of armed conflict in the country’s English-speaking regions of the North West and South West after a declaration of independence by Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius, referred to as President of Ambazonia, the new state rebels are battling to establish.
The country is also hit by the Boko Haram terrorist group in its Northern regions. Its 86-year-old dictator vowed in his New Year’s televised address to his country to crush separatists, referring to those fighting to establish Ambazonia.
At least, 14000 people have so far been killed in battles and military raids with over 400 villages burnt down. Thousands are held across various detention facilities, including Ayuk Tabe and nine others sentenced for life. Over two million remain displaced as refugees and IDPs.
President Paul Biya called for a National Dialogue, late 2019, to resolve the crisis but ended up politicizing it, political pundits say, adding it was totally boycotted by the rebels.