The CDN Retreat October 2021.
Well done to CDN for bringing together the widest ever gathering of Southern Cameroons leaders and actors.
Whatever our views, there is no denying that the war will end through dialogue and negotiation. There is no denying either that Southern Cameroons is making less headway than she could due to a relative lack of collaboration between her leaders and activists.
The slowness of pace is not necessarily a bad thing as those leaders hoping to run the country must gain experience of dealing with diverse opinions and even political opponents. In view of that need for tolerance and flexibility, CDN is to be commended for the “Retreat”.
Detractors of the CDN will be concerned that CDN is not “sufficiently distant” from LRC especially as its founding pillars include the vague notion of “return of peace through negotiation and reconciliation and reconstruction”.
This last phrase was sullied by LRC’s hoax of “reconstruction” and other cosmetic patches.
LRC may well look at the CDN and see a useful tool or arena to find “moderates” who would be willing to front up for those cosmetic changes but CDN aims are not at odds with an eventual separation and two states. In no way could LRC expect to take advantage of CDN, whose founders have never failed to call out the atrocities on “Ground Zero”. Neither, as far as it is evident, does CDN commit itself to deliver anything more than its services as a facilitatornl.
On the contrary, if LRC wishes to “take advantage” by engaging true dialogue and negotiations …
The ideal would be a negotiated separation but it must be accepted that that would be a reconciliation as well as lead to the reconstruction of both states. This is a convoluted statement that “coincidences” in LRC statements and slogans are just that – coincidences. It should not be discounted that LRC is constantly seeking to appropriate Southern Cameroons opinion to create those deceptive slogans.
On balance, the benefit of building trust among Southern Cameroons leaders outweighs the risk of LRC infiltrators. That time has past and it is clear that only a small minority of Southern Cameroonians, as is their right, still believe in a Federation with LRC. Ironically, those who would not consider a federation can rely on LRC to ensure it does not come to pass! Why would LRC go to war and interrogate people who use the word “federation” only to revert to negotiating for a federation? Even if that were to emerge, Southern Cameroons would still be in a better position with leaders who have mutual understanding and are single minded on the fundamentals – the ethos and civism of Southern Cameroons.
Thus the most encouraging report to emerge from the Retreat was the cordiality of discussions especially if opinions were divergent.
The absence of the IG from the Retreat is at this point not a big problem for either “side”. The confidence building will be slightly slower for that absence but the leaders need time to reflect and adapt to the statesmanship that they will be called on to exercise in due course. If anything we could hope that that lack of a rush to “return peace” shows a patience that we accept that the struggle need not conclude “in a hurry”. We are relaxed in the knowledge that it will take some time and will similarly patiently build consensus among our leaders on the fundamentals of our state. Onwards to the next retreat, in that case.
The leaders who attended the Retreat did not go to create a homogenous one-party to submit to LRC! Knowing a little about some the leaders I can safely state the idea of “submitting” anything to LRC would not have been entertained even by the most “moderate” romantic.
The featured image is from coalitionfdn.org the CDN’s website where more information on their ideas and vision can be found.