War To End War : Biya Fuels Military, Renews Battle On Separatist Fighters In Anglophone Regions

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“For those who persist in going down the wrong road and using violence , we will have no other choice than to combat them in order to protect all our fellow citizens. Our Defense and security forces will once again perform their duty with restraint, but without weakness. I wish to reassure them of my full support and high esteem.” – Paul Biya 

Cameroon President Paul Biya renewed on Tuesday threats to battle separatists in the Anglophone regions.

With wide negative reactions from citizens who believe the country’s wild policies need an overhaul, there is clear evidence that the president has the wrong advisers around him.

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In his end of year message, Cameroonians were expecting Biya to announce peace measures to the Cameroon Anglophone crisis ; freedom for detained Anglophone leaders and all incarcerated as a result of the crisis, demilitarization of the Anglophone regions and an all inclusive dialogue with key separatist forces.

But Biya ignored these concerns insisting he had taken several measures allowing armed groups and fighters to lay down their weapons – that these fighters were being brainwashed an funded by Cameroonians in the diaspora.

He promised no mercy to those who have refused to drop arms while cheering the military squad.

In November 2019, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy reiterated that military option will not bring the Anglophone Crisis to an end.

Talking at the Africa Relations Subcommittee Hearing, Tibor Nagy said the Major National Dialogue was more of a symbolic than a concrete initiative.

President Paul Biya, he added, is probably ill advised, hinting that “there are people telling him Mr. President you can win this militarily”.

“I expected that in a speech like this he would say Anglophone activists, I pardon you. Now with this olive branch that I have extended, can all those in the bushes {fighters} come out let us talk,” Mr Nagy said.

“But Mr. Biya said if you want peace be prepared for war. I saw in him then that that was somebody who wanted to fight under all costs before his term comes to an end.

The truth is it’s not going to be won militarily … You can’t wipe out a thought militarily,” he said, citing the case of the US and other nations.

Every day, more Cameroonians are getting radicalised due to government’s handling of the crisis making them think declaring a separate country is the way to go.

For the crisis to end, he advised that there has to be a true dialogue, one whose proof is in the implementation of results.

The American diplomat is one of several others that has since maintained that the best way to solve the crisis is through dialogue.

Violence erupted in the two regions in 2017 when teachers and lawyers protested alleged discrimination at the hands of Cameroon’s French-speaking majority.

The Anglophone crisis in Cameroon has killed at least 3,000 people and displaced over 500,000, according to the United Nations.

Separatist leaders on social media have accepted Biya’s renewed war vows.

“As an activist, I welcome this war renewal from Mr. Biya, it is only through his instransigence that Ambazonia will be free. Southern Cameroonians must enter 2020 with a renewed spirit and commitment to increase fire power on the ground. We have no choice.” – Mark Bareta wrote

At 86, Paul Biya marks 37 years in Power. He became president of Cameroon on November 6, 1982 following the resignation of Ahmadou Ahidjo and will be 92 when his current mandate ends in 2025.

More than 65 percent of Cameroonian youths were not born before he assumed office as Head of State in 1982.

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