A statement issued by Cameroon Communications Minister René Emmanuel said on Monday evening has ostensibly dealt a serious blow to the Canadian peace process, while openly contradicting the Canadian Foreign Ministry.
This came three days after Canada stated that it would be mediating a long-sought peace process for Cameroon’s armed conflict. The Cameroonian government statement effectively contradicts the substance of the Canadian announcement.
The unexpected outing came after the Cameroonian administration had been silent for three days. The administration rejected Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly’s announcement, which was released by her office on Friday with the apparent assent of all parties to the crisis.
“The Government of the Republic of Cameroon informs national and international community that it has not entrusted any foreign country or external entity with any role of mediator or facilitator to settle the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions,” read the statement.
“It is first and foremost up to the Cameroonian people, to the institutions and leaders that they have freely chosen, to seek appropriate ways and means to address problems facing our country,” the statement continued.
Hon. Joly announced the Canadian engagement on Friday, asserting that the Cameroonian government was among the parties who had committed to a formal peace process with Canadian mediation.
“Canada has accepted the mandate to facilitate this process,” Hon Joly confirmed in the announcement.
She has also consistently tweeted supportive reactions to the Canadian decision over the last three days. Local and international support for the announcement has been massive. In addition to the euphoria with which the statement was received by Cameroonians, it has been applauded by Pope Francis, Religious leaders in Cameroon, US and British diplomats amongst others.
It is yet unclear why the Cameroonian government had withdrawn from the deal. On Monday evening, Hon. Joly’s press secretary Adrien Blanchard confirmed that the Cameroon government was privy to the discussions and its representatives had attended all of the previous discussions in Canada that led to the accord:
“We are in touch with the parties and our previous statement still stands.” he asserted.
The Canadian declaration on Friday, which came after four months of covert discussions with Cameroonian delegates and Ambazonian Separatist leaders, in three Quebec and Ontario locations, was seen by many as the much-needed breakthrough in the conflict that has plagued Cameroon’s English-speaking regions for over 6 years.
Mimi Mefo Info