US diplomat, Herman Cohen has once more weighed in on the Amglophone crisis, stating that separatists have the right to reject the special status for the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.
Cohen had taken to social media earlier to declare that “Cameroon’s peace process will be an uphill battle as long as President Biya’s troops continue to burn villages and murder innocent people”.
“If he is serious about negotiating an end to this war, Yaoundé must immediately declare a ceasefire” he went on.
Regarding the devolution bill enacted by parliament, Cohen stated that it “is unacceptable because anglophone Cameroonians were not consulted. Current “one-way” dialogue should be replaced by an honest negotiation that will result in a return to the federal system that existed prior to 1972″.
To him, “Anglophone separatists in Cameroon are correct to reject “special status” granted unilaterally by Parliament”.
This, he adds, is however no consolation for the actions of Ambazonian fighters. “Separatists cannot force anglophone citizens to accept independence” he adds.
For the crisis to come to an end, he has recommended that “there must be an immediate cease fire in Cameroon, and the beginning of transparent negotiations leading to true self-determination for the English speaking people”.
87 year old Herman Jay “Hank” Cohen it should be recalled served as United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1989 to 1993.
He also brokered an end to the Eritrean-Ethiopian War in 1991, as well as conflicts in Angola and Mozambique.
He believes that “an international mediator, preferably from the US, would expedite end of violence” that has seen thousands dead and more displaced.
Several other groups and individuals have also recommended a neutral third party for the start of genuine, free and fair dialogue between the warring parties.