Leaders from over a dozen groups, movements, and associations fighting for the Independence of former British Southern Cameroons (today’s South West and North West regions of Cameroon) have buried their difference, uniting and pledging to work as one towards a common objective.
This was among 15 resolutions adopted at the just ended All-Southern Cameroon Peoples Conference which took place March 29 and 30 in Washington DC, USA.
At the end of their two-day gathering characterized by discussions on topics such as; resolving the Southern Cameroon question presented by John Mbah Akuro, the war in Southern Cameroons and the path to sustainable peace by Valentine Gana, and the humanitarian crisis among others, participants all pledged to henceforth work as one towards a common goal.
Affirming their determination to work together, the frontline leaders of the various groups agreed that they are ready to engage in dialogue with the government of Cameroon provided there is a neutral third party. They, however, insisted that dialogue will only happen to discuss terms of their separation and nothing else.
With presentations from Dr. Ebenezer Akwanga, Boh Herbert, Prof Januarius Jingwa Asongu, and Dr. Sako Samuel among others, stakeholders at the gathering announced their intentions to put an end to the bloodshed provided the government of Cameroon withdraws its forces whom they accused of killings, burning down villages and committing gross human rights violations.
To Dr. Fontem Neba who saw the necessity to convene and unite as one body, the conference was a success and maps a way forward towards the struggle for self-determination.
“The objectives are clear; Foster unity, heighten international awareness and chart a way forward. What we are going to be doing in the days ahead will be to articulate, work, consult and coordinate strategies to be able to attain those objectives. The role of this conference is to ensure that the aspirations of the people are attained and we will do just that,” he said.
A major outcome of the conference was the launching of the Southern Cameroon Liberation Council, SCLC. The collation, its members holds, will oversee all matters regarding the Southern Cameroon struggle until it achieves its objectives.
In his presentation, aced journalist turned activist, John Mbah Akuro said “French and English-speaking Cameroon are two people with two destinies who will never make it together.”
“We expect all the people of Southern Cameroon to support us and make this project work. We need to promote collective interest first, for now, the focus is on the general good and we must stop the carnage.”
To ensure accountability after a financial scandal rock one of its leadership, attendees at the conference resolved to bond and establish a common treasury which will manage all their resources and will be charged with designating donations for the humanitarian crisis that has been brought about by fighting back home.
In a joined motion, attendees at the confab urged the United Nations to man-up and take action against the government of Cameroon whom they accuse of carrying out genocidal operations on their territory.
Ebenezer Akwanga however believes much talk yields less fruits. To him, talk is necessary and so too is action.
Emphasizing the fact that Southern Cameroon was never decolonized, speakers put the blame of the current stalemate in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon on the doorsteps of the United Nations and United Kingdom whom they say fail to act as was expected of them.
With video presentations that chronicled the dehumanizing humanitarian crisis that plagues inhabitants of the North West and South West, organizers of the gathering moved to beef up aide contributions back to the affected victims and to pressure for action from international organizations.
De-escalating the crisis and putting an end to rampant killings within the shortest time frame also characterized discussions at the confab which many believe will usher in a new era in the quest for Southern Cameroons liberation from Cameroon.