- US Secretary of State
CAMEROON'S NEED FOR A TIMELY WORD FROM WASHINGTON
1. As has been widely reported by the United Nations, NGOs in-country, and veteran reporters on the Africa beat, the nation of Cameroon is sinking deeper into crisis; the English-speaking border lands, officially the "Northwest Region" and the "Southwest Region," are caught in a multifaceted downward spiral. Repression from the central government has increased and local non-violent resistance is turning into an armed struggle. Fears are mounting that civil war will soon break out.
2. This is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis. Yet, it is also a strategic concern: the two Regions border Nigeria and thus serve as frontline staging areas for the common effort against Boko Haram. Civil war in Cameroon will gravely impair that effort; worse, it may even serve as a temptation to Boko Haram to intervene in Cameroon, thus spreading its terrorism.
3. Perhaps even more worrisome, civil war in Cameroon will seriously cripple the larger international effort in Central and Western Africa, particularly in the Sahel, against the increasing dangers posed by both ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates. Failing states are powerful magnets for terrorists.
4. While American troops are already present in Central and Western Africa, no military intervention is requested. This issue is not one for the United States Africa Command, but rather for the United States Department of State. The intervention that we request is purely civilian and advisory. Three steps are requested:
a. A diplomatic démarche in the capital of Yaoundé would apprise President Paul Biya that the United States is deeply concerned about the worsening situation in the two Anglophone Regions and the increasing risk that the violence there will burst into a full-scale civil war;
b. The United States stands prepared to send teams of teachers to re-staff the schools which have been closed in much of the two Regions, and likewise to send development experts to help the two Regions regain their economic footing; and
c. The United States is further prepared to initiate an international conference on development for the nexus of Central and Western Africa, so that this geographical area, so rich in human and natural resources, can achieve the stability and the progress which alone would suffice to repel the rising tide of terrorism and to guarantee the citizens of all the neighboring nations genuine hope for the future.
5. To this end, we stand prepared, upon request, to submit any affidavits or other forms of information which could supplement the facts gathered by the United States Embassy in Yaoundé, so as to increase the likelihood of a successful American appeal to President Biya and, overall, increase the prospect of ending the downward spiral in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, thereby setting an example for all of Central and Western Africa – an example which both the President of the United States and the President of Cameroon could point to with pride.
We, concerned citizens of the United States, are calling on The Secretary of State of the United States, the Honorable Michael R. Pompeo and the government of Cameroon to act swiftly to resolve this crisis before it results in a civil war.
The PLEASE ACT TO AVERT A CIVIL WAR IN CAMEROON petition to US Secretary of State was written by Will Mbah and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.