By Eric Acha, Thursday, June 22, 2017
The amendments are possibly intended to address some of the grievances raised by Cameroon Common Lawyers. However, the gesture appears to be coming a little too late? Shameful it had to take 56+ years, riots, civil disobedience, killings and imprisonments for the Paul Biya’s regime to do what it now claims is “reasonably and logically” correct to do.
Interesting to note in the proposed amendments is Section 11(3) that clearly reads:” The legal/judicial officers appointed to the Common law Division (of the Supreme Court) MUST have an Anglo-Saxon background.” Note the word ‘MUST’ is written in caps. Where are all those who have been in denial of the “Anglophone problem”? – The likes of Atanga Nji Paul, Mathias Eric Owana, Issa Tchiroma, and the long list of sycophants..?
Unfortunately, this may be coming a little too late. Many (including myself) had warned that there shall come a time in this struggle when the debate will no longer be simply along the lines of “an Anglophone problem.” The demands would have changed, when the regime will finally want to address the supposed “Anglophone problems.” People have been hurt, some have died, many still in prison, and many more on the run for daring to raise their voices to complain and demand for what is now “reasonably and logically correct” in the eyes of this government. This is not how you treat a people. The ill-advised strategies deployed in the early days to resolve this crisis have somewhat radicalized the youth in these two regions in a way that simple cosmetics and tinkering sections of the constitution will not normalise the situation.
A total sweep and revamp of the current constitutional framework in favour of a Federated Cameroon may be the starting point. Unfortunately, this regime has neither the credibility nor the will to embark on such a trajectory, reason why they must be shown the exit door.
In an even better setup, let a referendum be conducted in the two concerned regions, supervised by international partners, for the people in these regions to determine the kind of relationship they want with the brothers and sisters on the other side of the Mongo. But again, the first best option will be to ensure that the regime in power has the will and credibility to engage in such a process in a meaningful way. It is evident the current regime has neither that will nor the credibility.
But before it even starts, they have to unconditionally #FreeAllArrested.