THE NEGOTIATIONS HELD BY AYUK TABE & CO WITH LRC ON 2 JULY 2020
By Denis Atemnkeng
If LRC is willing to start talking, then it is a welcome development.
But knowing LRC only too well, it is important for Ambazonia not to rush to any conclusions, but to find out what exactly LRC wants to talk about.
It is reported that the subject of the discussion was about a ceasefire, although there was mention of more talks in a neutral country without further details.
If LRC wants to talk not just about a ceasefire but the whole war, then this is a development that Ambazonia should formally welcome as a positive step in the right direction, and remind LRC that war was never necessary in the first place and that the only solution is to meet on the negotiation table.
Those LRC has picked and chosen to talk to know two things: (1) if the talks are about a ceasefire, they of course know that only those who control the fire on the ground can talk about causing it to cease. Ceasefires are not negotiated by those who have no army and no boots on the ground! (2) If the talks are much more than just on a ceasefire, they also know that they cannot represent the 8 million Ambazonians and that no one has chosen them to represent Ambazonia. They have been chosen solely by the enemy and they must humble themselves to admit that that does not qualify them as Ambazonian delegates to any talks.
LRC cannot cross the boundary and pick and choose those to negotiate with on the Ambazonian side. All those posing as facilitators to any talks must know this.
Ambazonia must have the freedom to choose its own delegates to any genuine talks.
The psychology of those held in prison, under maximum detention conditions and possibly brainwashed and subjected to unknown pressures must always be taken into account in these matters. That those who are in prison are under enormous pressures and unknown influences, no one can doubt that. They are naturally soft targets for manipulation and control.
If LRC picks and chooses those to talk to, you can guess who it will choose and why it will do so. If you were the one picking, who will you pick? Will you pick those who are adamant about Ambazonia independence? Will you pick those you cannot manipulate and control? Will you pick those who will give you any headaches on the negotiation table?
And this may perhaps be confirmed by the very fact that Pa Ngala Nfor and Wilfred Tassang have never been among those being invited for discussions! And very, very strangely, those being invited have never insisted that they be part of the discussions! Well, we may not know all the details.
LRC is fully aware of who control soldiers on the ground in Ambazonia; they are fully aware of who gives orders for lockdowns; there is nothing to teach them about the state of affairs in Ambazonia. So why have they decided to pick and choose who to speak to? Is it just one more strategy to cause division among Ambazonians? Can they seriously talk about a ceasefire to those they know control no soldiers on the ground? Your guess is as good as my own.
Our Brothers in prison and those invited to the negotiations ought to know better than anyone else that their circumstances do not permit them to freely represent the eight million Ambazonians bearing the brunt of the war. Their current circumstances do not allow it!
Those being invited ought, out of this realization, to say to LRC: “We are not competent to negotiate on behalf of eight million Ambazonians. We have not been chosen by them to talk on their behalf. We control no troops on the ground. It is for Ambazonia to find its own formula on who will represent it in the talks.”
That they have not yet done so, is probably the psychological condition of incarceration that we have mentioned above. All of them ought to see right away that Ambazonia has not chosen them to speak on their behalf in any talks and especially that they don’t control any fire on GZ. And the God of Ambazonia forbid that they start committing themselves or Ambazonia on any count!
For every negotiation with LRC, the same rule must apply: that Ambazonia will find a formula for representation but not that any individual or individuals will arrogate the right to speak on behalf of the people without their authority to do so.
On the Ambazonian side, these talks are not an occasion for egos to flare up.
This is not an occasion to celebrate that one side has won over the other because a foreign enemy-country has decided to talk to one side and not the other; the enemy or any foreign country must never be the one to choose Ambazonian leaders for its people. We have all said it time and again: Ambazonia must speak for itself! No foreign country will decide the fate of Ambazonia any longer!
This is not an occasion either for self-positioning and jostling. Small egos are hard to control in these circumstances, but Ambazonians who can see beyond themselves should help put things right. We may rightly say that this is an occasion for reconciliation on the Ambazonian side.
This is an occasion to place Ambazonian sovereign independence first; this is an occasion for Ambazonian unity; this an occasion to find a formula for one Ambazonia voice; this is an occasion to avoid all antagonism and politicking; this is an occasion to say to your brother: “We all wanted these talks. Now they are here, what do we do?” Every leader worthy of the name must guard his tongue now and put his ego under control. Words cause war, and create all kinds of disharmony. At this point, we need harmony and mutual understanding for the benefit of Ambazonia, not any attempt by anyone to claim a victory that is not yet in sight.
We are obliged to talk to each other now for the best interest of Ambazonia. Remember what happened in 1961 between Endeley and Foncha? Do you want to sell Ambazonia a second time because of personality clashes? Do you want to miss this opportunity again because of our internal divisions? NO. We do not want to prolong the enslavement and suffering of Ambazonia and its people.
Ambazonians have said it over and over again: they do not care who takes them to Buea. They want to reach Buea. Every Ambazonian in their little corner is doing whatever they can to see freedom. Politicians should not delay their arrival in Buea because they are fighting to claim that they and they alone took Ambazonia to Buea. No. We Ambazonians reject that kind of politics.
Again, the leaders must be reminded: when we reach Buea, the people will choose their leaders by democratic processes. No one should be under the illusion that they will be the ones to be in power when we get to Buea or that they will start another war to get to power.
Sensible leadership calls for Ambazonia to officially welcome the talks, in no abusive or sarcastic terms, but genuinely; to tell LRC that fighting was never welcomed and it could never be the solution. The leadership should tell LRC that history teaches us that only injustice causes war and that once justice and restitution are done, LRC and Ambazonia will be the best of neighbours. Justice and restitution are the only way to have peace between the two neighbours.
We should not indulge in any daydreaming that LRC has finally accepted that this is not an internal matter. By repeatedly asserting that this is an internal matter, LRC thereby denies flat that there was ever any union! A conflict between two parties to a purported union cannot be the internal affair of one of them. But so claims LRC! So we must be on our guard, all the time! Our soldiers must be in heightened alert, even while the talks are going on. It is only on the negotiation table that we will finally know what LRC wants to talk about!
Whether these current talks continue or not, Ambazonia should now work out the formula for representation in any future talks and have it ready. Whichever talks are going to hold and where, Ambazonia should seriously think of the formula for one Ambazonia voice.
Even those who have opposed certain talks and said all kinds of things will want to be part of those talks if after all they happen. Always remember that the fate of Ambazonia concerns all of us, ALL, even those who are willing to kill their fellow Ambazonians because of common disagreements. Let the victory be our common victory, not that of Mr. Y because Mr. X was against the talks. This is NOT the moment to appear in dispersed ranks but to be one solid bloc.
Has the Ambazonian formula for representation towards any future talks been worked out? Let us not be caught unawares. We should do that now! All stakeholders should be included, and let them be the ones to decline to be in the team. When that formula is found, we must have our own discussions before meeting the other side. Make no mistake: this can only be a coalition of the willing.
This is the moment when genuine leaders will distinguish themselves by how clearly they put Ambazonia first; how they bring their egos under control and rally all stakeholders around our common destiny, despite everything that has been said and done in the past.
Forward Ambazonia, backward never.
Long live Ambazonia, short live the struggle.