Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Sisiku Ayuk Tabe

Cameroon’s Anglophone leader gives conditions for talks Featured

By News Reports / Friday, 31 May 2019 17:53


Sissiku Ayuk Tabe, leader of Ambazonia, the Anglophone western side of Cameroon which is fighting for independence, has given conditions for holding dialogue with the government.

This comes some weeks after the government in Yaounde indicated willingness to hold talks with the separatists on every issue except secession.

From the Kodengui detention cell in Yaounde where he is being held with other leaders of his movement, Tabe issued a 5-page document in which he presented conditions, parties, venue, delegations and topics to be discussed between his group and the Cameroonian government, according to JournalduCameroon.

His conditions include the release of all prisoners arrested over the crisis, the retreat of Cameroun’s defence and security forces as well as its administrators and civil servants from the two Anglophone regions that comprise Ambazonia.

For security and psychological reasons, Tabe says the proposed talks must be held outside “La Republic Du Cameroun and the Former British Southern Cameroon”, and proposes the United Nations (UN) at New York or Geneva, as well as the African Union at Addis Ababa as venue.

In addition, he proposes a third-party moderation of the talks, as well as the presence of foreign observers.

For the moderator, Tabe proposes the UN, the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) or Ecowas. And for foreign observers, he penciled down Nigeria, US, South Africa, Ghana, Russia, Rwanda, Germany, Algeria and France.

Tabe says the talks should focus on correcting the errors of the UN 1961. Western Cameroon had been a UN trust territory governed by the British after being taken from colonial Germany at the end of World War 1 in 1918.

In 1961, the UN held a plebiscite to determine the future of the territory. The northern half decided to join Nigeria, while the southern half decided to join Republic du Cameroon.

This Anglophone side of Cameroon (North West and South West Provinces) has had an uneasy relationship with Yaounde, complaining about being subjugated. In 2017, it launched an armed rebellion following a heavy-handed crackdown from the security forces.

Meanwhile, Tabe and his group have refused to make appearance at the military tribunal that Yaounde set up to try them. Most of the Ambazonia leaders had been arrested in Nigeria in 2018 and handed over to Yaounde as a political quid-pro-quo for the support Abuja enjoys from Cameroon in its fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.


Ojukwu-Enendu Okwudili

Ojukwu-Enendu Okwudili

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