A few weeks ago, elites of the North West Region of Cameroon got together and raised funds to support Biya’s bid for another term as president, ignoring the fact that Biya had ordered the military to kill and maim young people in their Region.
If one thought they had seen the height of stupidity, they were yet to see the actions of Elites from the other Region of English-speaking Cameroon. A few days ago the elites of the South West Region met in Buea, and instead of condemning the massacre of their citizens, they, among other things demanded that Biya increase the number of troops in the region.
In addition to calling for more troop deployment, the South West Forum rejected the peace conference initiative of Christian Cardinal Tumi and denounced a Two-State Federation. Paradoxically, they resolved to call for inclusive dialogue.
Either they clearly do not understand what the words “inclusive” and “dialogue” means, or they are the most deluded people ever to sit in one room. By rejecting Tumi’s Peace Conference and rejecting a Two-State Federation, while calling for increased troop deployment, they have in more ways than one, indicated that they did not want a resolution to the current crisis. It is therefore, a mere façade when they claim to love their people.
As if in confirmation of how out of touch the South West Forum and it’s elites are, women of the Region have today gathered in Buea to protest against the ongoing war and indiscriminate violence against the most vulnerable.
Holding placards and peace plants, the message and call for Peace could not have been clearer. One placard read : WAR IS COSTLY, BUT PEACE IS PRICELESS” This summarises how the women feel about the continuation of hostilities.
The match today clearly highlights that the elites do not know what their people want, and are not even ready to understand what is required. It is hoped that the peace match by the women of the South West Region can be copied across the English-speaking Regions and be the rallying action for Peace.
Since Biya refused to hearken to the peaceful demands of civil society and resorted to violence, it is estimated that over 6000 people have been killed, over 40.000 refugees in Nigeria, 160.000 internally displaced and over a 100 villages have been burned. The economic cost of the violence is yet to be fathomed.