Cameroon: Hope Rekindling Signal


The 289 detainees the Head of State ordered the discontinuance of proceedings pending before them in the Military Tribunals in connection with the crisis in the North-West and South-West Regions have effectively been released. The beneficiaries of the Presidential clemency were, according to the order «arrested for misdemeanours." The joy that swept across families of those who were effectively freed was surely a normal human reaction once proclaimed free irrespective of whatever crime that person must have committed. The detainees were released from Bamenda, Buea, Bafoussam, Douala and Yaounde Central Prisons among others, according to a statement issued on the heels of the Presidential Order by the Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in Charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo. The Presidential Order comes barely two weeks following the creation of the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Rehabilitation Committee for which its National and Regional Coordinators were appointed. Now that the 289 detainees have been released and the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Rehabilitation Committee created, what next? This is surely the big question on every mind. And as nature would have it, the question has its place considering the devastating consequences the socio-political unrest in the North West and South Regions have brought to bear on the nation Cameroon. Many Cameroonians are still to come to terms on why things had to come up to this devastating level especially for a country that has long prided itself as the island of peace. Churches have not stopped preaching peace, politicians continue to advocate for a peaceful Cameroon and the international community has ceaselessly called for all instruments that can help restore the highly valued peace everyone is talking about. From the look of things, the whole issue has to do with Cameroonians paying the price of extremism perpetrated from all angles. President Paul Biya who in his capacity as the Head of State of Cameroon, knows he is the ship captain, is quite aware that he will not allow the ship to capsize. He knows the consequences as can be sized out of his inaugural speech of November 06 before law makers. He, in his speech stated inter alia how he intends to give a lasting solution to the upheavals in the North West and South West Regions. This, he said will be done through a number of actions. "These actions and others will be undertaken to resolve the many problems that are at the root of the frustrations and dissatisfaction that have been expressed in recent times", he said, at the same time, expressing the hope that this will restore calm that is indispensable for a return to normalcy and usual economic activity. "I am deeply convinced that the overwhelming majority of our compatriots in the two regions concerned as pire to a rapid return to peace within the national community. With the support of the Cameroonian people as a whole and convinced that there is an honourable way out in everyone's interest, I will strive to restore peace and calm in the two regions concerned, with due respect for the institutions of which I am guarantor." The decisions so far taken to scale down tension, readily fall in line with promises made by the Head of State. Even though some unanswered questions still remain, some schools of thought believe these decisions are a translation of a hand of peace and ought to trigger a positive response from the other side. The tap root of socio-political unrest seems to have gone so deep into the ground and cannot be removed with a simple and single pull. Since everyone is talking peace, all spotty efforts at attaining that goal should in the real sense of the word be the responsibility of all to ensure that there is no derailment towards self political gains.

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