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Cameroon Crisis: Govt Refuses International Crisis Group Claims

Here is an introductory statement of Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary during October 24, 2017 press conference in Yaounde.  I...

Here is an introductory statement of Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary during October 24, 2017 press conference in Yaounde. 

I am highly delighted and honored to wish you a warm welcome to this meeting to which I have invited you for us to dwell on the latest report of the "International Crisis Group", on the crisis prevailing in the North-West and South-West Regions. 

As you may have noticed, the International Crisis Group has, in the space of just two months, published two reports condemning the Cameroonian Government, on the situation I have just mentioned. 

The most recent of these two reports, dated October 19, 2017, contains ungrounded allegations of such gravity that the Government could not remain speechless in the face of such vexing aggression. 

The Government therefore strongly refutes all these allegations and totally rejects both the report of the International Crisis Group of 2nd August 2017 and that published on 19 October. 

The position of the Government is dictated by the fact that each time, "International Crisis Group" has engaged itself in a real accusation, made up of baseless and ungrounded facts and accusations, without any relation to reality, in other words, pure gossip, instead of an objective report based on observation and a contradictory analysis of the situation.
Cameroon Denies Crisis 

In fact, the "International Crisis Group" has entirely constituted its accusations on the basis of fundamentally erroneous, deeply biased and voluntarily exaggerated information. 

To achieve its objective, the "International Crisis Group", which has never paid the slightest visit to the scene of events, has preferred to claim ownership of other misleading and inadmissible allegations published by another less credible NGO, known in its French acronym as REDHAC, the Human Rights Network in Central Africa. 

Moreover, "International Crisis Group" thought it necessary to draw its source from the fanciful information published in one or two newspapers published in France, whose reporters have not at any time stepped on the Cameroonian soil since the outbreak of the aforementioned events. 

In a nutshell, instead of publishing a report worthy of the name, the "International Crisis Group" has rather served us with a prejudicial document drafted in defiance of all the applicable canons governing such procedure.

To demonstrate this, allow me to begin with the genesis which the authors of the October 19, 2017 report intend to attribute to this crisis situation. 

In fact, according to the "International Crisis Group", the Cameroonian Government bears full responsibility for the escalation of the crisis, firstly, due to the supposedly inappropriate nature of the solutions given by the Head of State to the concerns raised on that occasion, solutions which the report describes as "superficial measures". 

Secondly, owing to the repression described as murderous by the Security Forces, in the face of a declaration of independence, which they find just "symbolic" of a fictitious State and to peaceful protests perpetrated by secessionist militants. 

However, as you are all aware, following the strike notice filed by certain teachers' trade unions under the Anglophone Education Subsystem and of some English-speaking lawyers in November 2016, the President of the Republic had immediately prescribed the Prime Minister, Head of Government, to open negotiations with the interlocutors who had raised such concerns.

All those claims that were found grounded and timely were favorably welcomed by the Head of State, who took all appropriate measures to this effect, despite higher bids maintained by many negotiators who were facing the Government. 

Moreover, the activists concerned did not limit themselves to mere expression of corporatist claims. Some of them went further to launch and maintain strike slogans intended to paralyze economic and social activities, orchestrating acts of violence, intimidation and damage of public and private property, and even going as far as to defile symbols of the nation and armed attacks on public buildings. 

It is against this backdrop that those who were caught red-handed in act of vandalism or sponsoring acts of public disorder were arrested. In spite of this, and in order to appease and restore a climate of serenity conducive to dialogue, the Head of State, acting within the ambit of the powers conferred on him by the laws and regulations of the Land in this area, ordered the discontinuance of the proceedings against 55 of these individuals. 

Contrary to what the "International Crisis Group" claims, not only did the escalation of violence not wait until October 1 to happen, but the initiative of this violence rightfully belongs to activists who have become real belligerents with terrorist insinuation. Now with regards to the measures taken by the President of the Republic and which the report qualifies as "superficial",

I would like to recall that the Head of State acted on the basis of the concerns clearly raised by English speaking teachers' trade unionists and lawyers, where the laws and the Constitution of the Republic gave him powers to do so. 

That notwithstanding, with regard to the issue of secession, the International Crisis Group should indicate a single case in the world where the amputation of the territory of a country has been the subject of any transaction. 

In choosing a position as radical as that of the constitution of an independent State within the territorial limits of Cameroon, the secessionists have put themselves to the wall and left no other choice to the Republic than to unreservedly refutes their unfair plan and to defend the fundamental values of the nation which are Peace, National Unity and the Integrity of the Territory. 

As far as the debate on federalism is concerned, this issue is obviously not a taboo in Cameroon, given that certain prominent political parties have included it in their programmes. These political parties present themselves regularly with their federalist programmes to the various electoral consultations with the results that we all know. 

As an illustration, during the last presidential election, the President of the Republic, whose unitary State is included in his political philosophy, canvassed nearly 78% of the vote, whereas the first opposition party whose federalism constitutes the leitmotiv scored slightly over 10% of the votes. 

That is to say that the Cameroonian people, holders of sovereignty, have from hence turned the page of federalism to open that of national integration.

Whatever the case, should there be any Cameroonian thinking that the federal state might be brought back, then he should merely canvass for votes in any election. 

As for the assessment of the events of October 1, the "International Crisis Group" speaks of massacre perpetrated by the Defense and Security Forces, which according to this NGO fired live bullets on peaceful and defenseless protesters. 

There again, it is just a gross attempt to misinform and create fear! I would like to remind you once again about the circumstances in which a dozen people lost their lives during these events. - Online Sources

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