The source says that he does not expect much from the proposed peace agreement, especially with the government having distanced itself from it.
“I know that nothing will come of it because it’s the initiative of the Canadian government and not that of Cameroon’s President,” the source tells DHPI, and adds, “Actually the proposed peace talks is a non-event back here. No one is talking about it nor are people excited about it. The government of Cameroon insists on solving it by itself as an internal affair.”
Claiming that the Canadian government had been mandated by all stakeholders (including the Cameroon government and the Pro-Independence faction) to facilitate the process, Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement announcing a peace process that she said was aimed at resolving the ongoing crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon.
“Civilians are bearing the brunt of the ongoing crisis in Cameroon, with more than 6,000 people having lost their lives since 2017. In addition, nearly 800,000 people have been displaced as a result of this crisis, and 600,000 children do not have full access to education," Ms. Joly said.
She added, “Canada welcomes the agreement by the parties to enter a process to reach a comprehensive, peaceful and political resolution of the conflict. The parties have also agreed to form technical committees to begin work on confidence-building measures."
“The agreement to enter a formal process is a critical first step toward peace and a safer, more inclusive and prosperous future for civilians affected by the conflict,” the Canadian official said.
A statement issued by the Cameroonian government's spokesperson on Monday, January 23 however, said, “The Government of the Republic of Cameroon 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.”
“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,” Communications Minister, René Emmanuel Sadi, further said.
In a Thursday, January 26 interview with ACI Africa, DHPI Director Johan Viljoen said that the peace entity that is researching the six-year violence had not yet verified the reasons behind the rejection by the Cameroonian government of the Canadian peace initiative.
The DHPI Director noted that the peace entity of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) supports Religious leaders in the country who have welcomed the proposed peace initiative.