Dieudonne Essomba, Francophone critic, Calls for return to 1961 Federation



The massacres of the populations in a village in the North West lead me to recall what I asked long before the outbreak of events, namely that it was necessary to immediately return to the 1961 Federation or any other renewed formula and this for many reasons :

  1. Anglophones no longer want a unitary state. They really don’t want it anymore, no matter what reforms you can make. The unitary state reminds them of all that is devious, violent, brutal and dishonest. It is the word “unitary” itself that fuels the war and must be noted. We do not know exactly what the Government gains by maintaining this word despite the blood flows;
  2. In matters of Secession, the English-speaking Community enjoys three decisive advantages which make it practically impossible to maintain them in a unitary State: a) They are too many, because a secession which covers 20% of the population is no longer controllable by a unitary state; for your information, the Secession of Cabinda, Casamance, Corsica or Tibet does not cover 2% of the population; b. They have already lived under a federal regime, and they perceive this era as a Golden Age which fuels an irrepressible nostalgia; vs. They have international legitimacy because they came to French-speaking Cameroon under the aid of the United Nations. In the event of a conflict, their situation will necessarily attract the attention of the international community, which will impose its solutions.
  3. Finally, in operational terms, the Federation makes it possible to better combat the Secession by 3 mechanisms:
    a) It dries up the attractiveness of the Secession, since it also has its supporters
    b. It opposes a local police force which comes from the same sociological background, has a better knowledge of the terrain and has at least the same legitimacy. The national army then comes to support. Conversely, the National Army directly confronts the Secession, it does not enjoy popular support and commits a large number of blunders which gives it the appearance of an occupying force.
    vs. It makes the attacks of the Secessionists very difficult, because the majority of the visible infrastructures belong directly to the local state. The people know that they expect nothing from the central state if these infrastructures are destroyed, which leads them to dissociate themselves from the actions of the Separatists. Unfortunately, our positions were fought on emotional and ideological bases. Furthermore, we have been accused of all the names of birds: antipatriots, pro-Ambazonians, traitors, etc. Because what these people wanted,is to get rid of our posture of cold analyst and great patriot to encourage the Government to go to sink in the stinking swamp where it struggles now desperately, without that one sees exactly the outcome. And the facts are there, hard and relentless: the English-speaking Secessionists will never lay down their arms, unless they are beaten, which is unlikely with the unitary state! You must never believe that there will come a time when the Secessionists, listening to the voice of wisdom, will quietly lay down their arms to return humbly to the unitary state. Of course, there will be some defections, but with little impact on the course of events. Because, what is the English-speaking Secession?
  4. These are people who started a rebellion with bare hands and spears, then small arms and now they have more sophisticated weapons: are these the people who are going to give up?
  5. These are people who feared the least sub-prefect and who complied with any commander of a small brigade. Today they have driven out the state, which is confined to a few secure cities. Are people like that going to lay down their arms?
  6. These are people whose fall was predicted in less than two weeks. It was then believed that a small squad of gendarmes would end the movement. But four years later, the situation got worse and it was they who imposed the ghost Cities, the ghost school Returns and the ghost Elections With success, despite the Government’s desperate efforts. And do you see people like that laying down their arms?
  7. We were told this is an internal problem and that there will be no interference. But there is growing support from foreign countries and the international community, and in most cases, sympathy is on their side. Rather, it is the government that is hard pressed, trying to justify itself with difficulty. Do you see people like that giving up arms?
  8. Some people told us that the state is a Leviathan who never gives up. But after denying the Anglophone problem, the same state finally recognized it, before granting special statutes without counting other seductions like the special recruitments of Anglophones. The state has given in, and yet the Secessionists give in absolutely nothing. They don’t want any debate! They only want to fight to restore their independence: is it people like that who can lay down their arms?
  9. The crisis has already caused 3000 deaths, with villages razed to the ground, and now, large-scale massacres attributed rightly or wrongly to the National Army. These acts only aggravate the fracture and the determination of the combatants. Are you going to ask people in this state of mind to lay down their arms? It must be said clearly, in this story, it is the separatist cause which advances, which gains points on the military, diplomatic and media level. The cause of Cameroon that was believed to be gaining ground is losing ground. And me, to make a TERRIBLE REMINDER: Black Africa was born with four federal states which had the clumsiness to suppress the Federation: Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Cameroon. The first 3 experienced victorious secessions, the only ones elsewhere in Africa. Cameroon, last on the list, may also be following the same path. Dieudonne Essomba”

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