9 November 2018

Cameroon: Situation in NW, SW - Germany, Belgium Offer Support for Dialogue

Photo: Emmanuel Freudenthal/IRIN
Fighters from anglophone regions of Cameroon.

Emissaries of the two European countries were at the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Belgium have manifested their desire to support dialogue in ending the prolonged socio-political tensions in the North West and South West Regions. The intentions were made known after separate audiences held between envoys from German and Belgium on the one hand, and on the other hand the President, Vice President and Secretary General of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism; Peter Mafany Musonge, Oumarou Djika and Dr. Chi Asafor Cornelius respectively.

After Wednesday's audience, the German envoys, accompanied by the German Ambassador to Cameroon, Dr Hans-Dieter Stell, told reporters their discussion was very important and interesting. According to Robert Doelger, Director of African Affairs at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they discussed the Anglophone issue at length.

"Germany has made some remarks and suggestions on how we can proceed together. We are very interested in seeing a solutionbased dialogue and political understanding towards the crisis in the Anglophone regions," Doelger said, preferring to stay confidential on the content of their discussions. He disclosed there has been a lot of willingness on the part of government.

For his part, the Belgian envoy, who was accompanied to Thursday's audience by the Belgian Ambassador to Cameroon, Stephane Doppagne, said they have been visiting a few institutions and officials in Cameroon but the visit to the Commission was a priority. According to Jozef Smets, Director for Africa in the Directorate General of Bilateral Affairs of the Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Commission has to play a historic role in contributing to the pacification of the beautiful country of Cameroon.

He said Cameroon to them is an important partner. "We also somehow have some similarities. Our country also has several official languages. We have three official languages - one more than Cameroon. We try to arrange and organize multilingualism as much as we can.

We went through a whole process which was totally non-violent and we will like to support our friend Cameroon to go through that process - to find creative solutions and make sure that peace comes back in the Anglo phone regions," Smets said. The diplomat noted that development, tolerance and progress should be paramount.

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