High-powered group tackles Cameroon conflict
A high-powered delegation of leaders of the AU Commission, the Commonwealth and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) has visited Cameroon to help end years of a bloody conflict that has ravaged the country’s English-speaking western regions. It included commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland QC and OIF secretary-general Louise Mushikiwabo. In a statement received by Legalbrief, the Commonwealth said it regards Cameroon as a valuable member of the AU and the Commonwealth ‘whose rich diversity is to be celebrated’ and ‘every Cameroonian deserves peace and a return to normality’. Cameroon, which was largely a French colony but has regions that were colonised by Britain, is a member of all the three organisations. The team is meeting with the country’s leaders and other stakeholders. The New Times reports that President Paul Biya’s Government this month adopted a more flexible approach toward the crisis, calling for a national dialogue and announcing clemency for hundreds of political prisoners. The conflict, which has been raging for three years, has claimed the lives of at least 3 000 people. Violence has largely ravaged two English-speaking provinces where separatists have called for secession citing exclusion. They say they want a country for English-speaking Cameroonian communities, under the name Ambazonia.