By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA – Wednesday November 20, 2019.
The administration of Donald John Trump, the 45th and current president of the United States has sent fresh counsel to the government of Cameroon over an armed conflict in the Central African country’s two English-speaking regions.
This counsel was dished out by a senior staff of the US State Department, Tibor Peter Nagy Jr, United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tuesday November 19, 2019, National Telegraph has confirmed.
The Ambassador said there were two Cameroons with different Histories and insisted the issue in the North hit by the terrorist group, Boko Haram is extremism and very different from the armed conflict in Cameroon’s North West and South West.
The North has its problems with extremism, but the problem in the Anglophone area and I know the Cameroon government does not like to use the word Anglophone because I say we have 120 languages. It’s true but they were two colonial histories of the two Cameroons that came together, Tibor Nagy said.
Ambassador Nagy was speaking at an open hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs held by the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organization presided at by the Committee’s chair, Karen Bass, Representative for California’s 37th congressional district.
During the hearing in Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Ambassador Nagy said the government of Cameroon cannot win the armed conflict in its North West and South West with the military.
“I’ve no doubt that there are people around President Biya who are telling him that Mr President you can win this militarily. The truth is, it’s not going to be won militarily”, the diplomat said.
The Ambassador said he followed closely a National dialogue called by Cameroon’s president Paul Biya to resolve the conflict, noting it was a great initiative but regretted it was rather very symbolic than concrete.
He furthered, citing America’s History and others, insisting “You can’t wipe out a thought militarily”, adding that violence begets violence and at the same time warning that many more will be radicalized in the regions.
The Ambassador also echoed that as days go by, even moderate Cameroonians are increasingly thinking that “declaring a separate country is the way we want to go”
There has to be a true dialogue and also devolution of power to the region. Now, allegedly the government of Cameroon has said that there will be but the proof is always in implementation, he said.
He gain cautioned that the implementation has to be put out there either in the form of a Federation or real decentralization so that the few remaining moderates can “gravitate” towards that.
He also regretted there might be a lost generation of Cameroonians resulting from children who have not been to school for three years now since the conflict started.
The South West and North West have been rocked by repeated and fierce gun battles with enormous material damage and loss in human lives as Pro-Independence fighters fighting to restore what they call the statehood of former British Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia battle regular Cameroon soldiers.
Ambassador Nagy is among top Americans who have visited Cameroon within the context of the armed conflict, including US Congressional Overseas Delegation (CODEL) that was led by Karen Bass who led a 7-man delegation.