Members of Parliament of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, party, have urged the Head of State, Paul Biya to create a National Dialogue Forum as a means to resolve the ongoing Anglophone crisis. The plea is contained in a press release signed on July 7, 2017 after a meeting at the National Assembly, stating that the forum should be held preferably before the next academic year in September.
The MPs of English-speaking extraction said that despite all efforts made, a pervasive sense of malaise and grievance continues to be felt among the population in the cities as well as in the rural areas of the North West and South West regions.
“Under these conditions, a frank and comprehensive National Dialogue on the ‘Anglophone crisis’ is an imperative to restore trust within our communities and, as the President of the Republic stressed in his end of year message to the nation on December 31, 2016 to maintain peace, consolidate our country’s unity and strengthen our resolve and our day-to-day experiences of living together,” the communiqué stated.
In requesting the President of the Republic to convene a National Dialogue Forum, the MPs are encouraged by the fact that Biya repeatedly stated in his above mentioned message that frank dialogue was the appropriate way to find lasting solutions to the issues raised. “These sentiments were subsequently echoed in both Houses of parliament by the Speakers of the Senate and the National Assembly and by eminent voices in the international community,” they stated.
While waiting for the President of the Republic to grant their request, the MPs mentioned that the first preparatory meeting of delegates of the South West and North West regions will be held in Buea on August 18 and 19 to lay groundwork for the expected forum. It is worth recalling that since October 2016, the two English-speaking regions have been gripped by a socio-political crisis with profound implications on the peace and unity of the country.