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Anglophone MPs Demand National Dialogue Forum Before School Resumption 

Anglophone Members of Parliament have requested President Paul Biya to convene a National Dialogue Forum on the prevailing situation in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

In a communiqué signed on June 7, by MPs of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, the people’s representatives suggested that the Forum should be held before the commencement of the 2017/2018 academic year.

“We the undersigned Members of Parliament of English speaking extraction have on July 7, 2017, requested the President of the Republic to convene a National Dialogue Forum on the situation prevailing in the Northwest and Southwest Regions to be held preferably before the scheduled commencement of the next academic year in September 2017,” partly reads the communiqué.

Going by Hon. Joseph Mbah-Ndam, who chaired the press conference, there is need for frank and comprehensive national dialogue to go on, since all efforts made to solve the Anglophone crisis have failed.

To the MPs, it is imperative for sincere dialogue to take place so as to restore trust within the communities as stated by President Paul Biya, during his 2016 end of year address to the nation.

The law makers further stated that they were not only encouraged by the Head State’s speech, but by subsequent echoes from both Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate.

“Also, eminent voices from the civil society as well as the international community have also played an important role in demanding for the Forum.”

On why it was only the SDF Parliamentarians who signed the communiqué without their colleagues of the CPDM and other parties, Hon. Mbah-Ndam said, “after presenting the issue to them, they were feet-dragging. The SDF decided to take the lead, while hoping that the other MPs will join the moving train.”

According to the SDF MPs, there was no time to waste, since all attempts to solve the Anglophone Crisis instead brought in a pervasive sense of malaise and grievances, which is felt by the local population.

“To maintain peace, consolidate the country’s unity and strengthen the resolve of the day-to-day experiences of living together as prescribed by the Head of State, there was need to look for a lasting solution which can only be realise through frank and inclusive dialogue,” the SDF MPs said.

In order to ensure effective participation at the National Dialogue Forum, it was announced that a preparatory meeting with Delegates of the Southwest and Northwest Regions will take place on Friday, August 18 and Saturday August 19, 2017 in Buea.

The Post learnt that the preparatory meeting is intended to identify those from the aforementioned Regions, who have the ability to bring a lasting solution to the crisis.

In addition, the Forum will be an opportunity for every opinion to be represented.

Speaking to The Post, observers said, if granted and well guided, the Forum can bring lasting solutions to the crisis that has been rocking the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon.

The request for the National Dialogue Forum is coming after several attempts to solve the Anglophone Crisis have been abortive. From the Prime Minister’s visits to the two Regions and the crisscrossing of the Northwest and Southwest Regions by various Minsters and Administrative Heads as well as the redeployment and appointments of Teachers and Magistrates all have failed to douse the embers of the Crisis that began in October last year.

By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo

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