Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Canadian government’s foreign affairs department, has announced an agreement between La Republique du Cameroun and a section of representatives of Southern Cameroon/Ambazonia. So far so good, except the press officer who published the news on GAC’s web page referred to “peace in Cameroon” and the ” NW and SW regions of Cameroon”
The participating Ambazonian stakeholders who were cited in the release “immediately” issued a statement expressing discontent at the phraseology. They objected to being referred to as regions of Cameroon. What they failed to tackle was the equally corrosive idea of listing several Ambazonian stakeholders in a blatant attempt to portray a semblance of inclusiveness. These points are not trivial as they make the difference between internal or external self-determination for Ambazonia. Ambazonia News understands from sources at the first pretalks that the Ambazonian stakeholders tackled – and agreed the issue of two state parties. This is bourne out by the language coming from the Canadian High Commission, that is Embassy, in Cameroun. They have tweeted about “an agreement for talks between The former United Nations Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons” in conformity with the statements of the pretalks delegates.
That gaf is far from the “facilitator’s” only faux pas. During the pretalks the facilitators failed to address questions from some participants, viz the IG that Ambazonia News knows of, pertaining to undefined yet prominent actors in the process. They then proceeded to exclude some of the previous delegates without explanation despite fair written depositions on concerns about transparency and representativeness. So GAC persisted in breaking both requirements to qualify as neutral impartial facilitators. Speeding up the “process” to meet La Republique du Cameroun’s timetable on at least one occasion, and accepting under-represented small group meetings as “valid” representation further point to shortcomings on the part of GAC… deliberate or just incompetence?
The final paragraph of the GAC communique therefore rings hollow as it expresses the “hope that many more groups would join the process to attain a lasting peace”.
The IG has responded to the communiqué by addressing a further letter to the head of GAC Hon. M Joly, in which they repeat the caution against the opacity and the non-representativeness of the process so far. The IG contends that justice cannot be attained with such flaws in the process and, therefore, nor can peace.
Over to GAC now to rectify the process if they are neutral facilitators/would-be-moderators.
For their part the Ambazonian stakeholders who have issued that statement including a “hope” that others will join must reflect on their part in rushing the previous few pretalks process to an extent to exclude some participants and square that with how hollow their “hope” rings!
The Most High God is the Watchman of Ambazonia. Our mistakes will not prove too costly!