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Anglophones Should Be Congratulated For Not Taking Up Arms -Ben Muna 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Barrister Ben Muna

Barrister Ben Muna has said Anglophones in Cameroon should be congratulated for not choosing the path of war in the face of several years of marginalisation by the Francophone-dominated government.

The international legal baron, human rights activist and politician, told officials of the International Crisis Group in his office in Yaounde on May 19 that after several decades of marginalisation, Anglophones should be lauded for choosing the path of peace and dialogue.

Barrister Muna said elderly Anglophones deliberately avoided any form of violence as a solution to their problem because they lived the bitter ordeal during the UPC crisis in the 60s.

Muna, accompanied by one of his colleagues, Barrister Paul Chi, told the crisis group led by Dr. Richard Moncrieff, and his Cameroonian counterpart, Hans de Marie Haungoup, that the crisis remains a potential danger because the young Anglophones who have never experienced any war may lose patience and become belligerent.

To him, only genuine and inclusive dialogue can avoid such a situation.

“I explained to them that the genesis of the Anglophone crisis is the lack of good governance, manifested through the embezzlement of public funds, corruption, tribalism and nepotism,” Muna told The Post.

All these vices, he went on, led to the marginalisation of Anglophones. Going by him, posts are bought and appointments into government positions are made on tribal, nepotism and regional basis.

Muna said President Biya created the Bilingualism and Multiculturalism Commission as way of stemming the tides of Anglophone marginalisation.

He, however, regretted that though the Commission was inspired by the Canadian example, it has no powers to check appointments that are made based on corruption, tribal affiliations and nepotism.

After the fact-finding mission, the International Crisis Group, a global watchdog, is expected to present a report to international bodies on the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.

Gov’t To Present Own Report In Geneva

Ben Muna also revealed that Government was ready to present its report on the ongoing Anglophone crisis during the UN Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva, next June 7.

The lawyer said he got it on good authority that the report is full of untruths and a misrepresentation of what took place in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

The report, he went on, nails Anglophone demonstrators for violence and destruction of state property.

According to Muna, the report says only one person died and that violent demonstrators were responsible for the death of the person.

The lawyer regrets that the report does not mention the killing of civilians and the brutalization of Anglophone students and lawyers by forces of law and order that exacerbated the crisis.

In the report, he stated, Government denies the marginalisation of Anglophones by citing some Anglophones who have been appointed Regional Delegates and the ENS Bambili, a big professional school in the Anglophone zone.

He said the report is a total distortion of facts and can only represent half truths and falsehood.
While analysing the crisis, Muna, one time Bar President, said the marginalisation of Anglophones is a case of genocide.

Quoting article 2 of the Geneva Convention, he said the case of genocide was obvious. He remarked that after the former British Southern Cameroons and French Cameroons came together through reunification in 1972, the attempt at assimilating the former is equal to cultural genocide.

However, the lawyer said genuine, sincere and inclusive dialogue is the only way through which Cameroon can get out of the current crisis.

Violence, he said, will not help anybody, but further plunge the country in chaos.

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