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As Parliament Opens: House Speaker Ignores Massacre Of Anglophones 

*SDF MPs Slam Remote-Control Parliament

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, has condemned the assassination of three gendarmerie officers in the Northwest Region, but ignored the massacre of Anglophones.
The condemnation by Hon. Cavaye came from the rostrum of the National Assembly on November 14, as he officially opened the ordinary session devoted to the examination of the 2018 budget.

The opening sessions, both at the National Assembly and the Senate, were boycotted by the opposition SDF Members of Parliament.

Addressing the MPs in the presence of Senate President, Hon. Marcel Niat Njifenji and members of Government headed by the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, Cavaye recalled that on November 6, 7 and 8, 2017, “three brave gendarmes were assassinated in cold blood by terrorists in the Northwest Region.”

He re-affirmed its total support to the Cameroonian security and defence forces and presented the General Assembly’s condolences to the families of “these worthy sons of the Republic.”

In total disregard of the hundreds of civilians killed in the Northwest and Southwest Regions by the same security and defence forces since the crisis erupted in late 2016, Hon, Cavaye, at the end of his speech, said the nation is unanimous in maintaining the unitary-decentralised and indivisible State.
He said at the moment when the bells of appeasement are ringing, the National Assembly can only encourage each and everyone to remain on the path of concertation and dialogue.

“Cameroon is our country. None of us would ever like it to be destroyed whatever the reason. Let us work together for the peace, cohesion and unity of our beloved country. I hail the recent appeasement missions conducted on the field on the high instructions of the Head of State by the Prime Minister, Head of Government and the teams. These missions demonstrate the will of President Paul Biya and public authorities to really seek solutions to the problems raised.

“It is the place for me to condemn, with all the energy, the assassination of those mentioned earlier, acts of violence and other exactions still being perpetrated especially in school environments. It is unacceptable and intolerable! But there is still hope. Hope to see Cameroon in peace soon, in the 10 Regions of the Republic; hope to see Cameroonians united more than ever before and living together in a harmonious manner on the national territory,” he stated.

Cavaye’s wave with the back of the hand the killings of hundreds of civilians in the two Anglophone Regions demonstrated by his failure to mention the killings of civilians, let alone extending a word of sympathy to the families who lost loved ones, caused a stir as The Post watched the few diplomats who attended the ceremony moved on their chairs.

While the ordinary session was officially being opened in the Glass House that morning and the Senate later in the afternoon; and in apparent response to the poor handling of the Anglophone crisis, SDF MPs and Senators boycotted the ceremony and instead converged at the Centre Regional Headquarters of the party in Olezoa, Yaounde.

Speaking to The Post on November 15, a party official that boycotted the opening sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate, said the decision was in line with the resolution of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party.

He said SDF MPs were planning to confront Cavaye again on the Anglophone Crisis.
According to the party official, after Tuesday boycott, SDF MPs can start attending the parliamentary session, but their mission is to continuously decry the plights of the Anglophones.

Below is the complete text of the press release that was read out to the media by Hon. Joseph Banadzem.
“The Parliamentary Groups of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, in the Senate and the National Assembly will like to make public its disgust at the degenerating socio-political crisis in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon.

“For over one year, life in Anglophone Cameroon has been a nightmare characterised by an undeclared but very effective State of Emergency which has resulted in: the judicial system, the educational system, economic activities grounding to a halt; law and order at the verge of total collapse; the rampant abuse of Human Rights; people being chased out of their homes into the bushes; the number of Anglophone Cameroonian refugees in neighbouring Federal Republic of Nigeria increasing on a daily basis.

“The unjustified suspension of internet access to these Regions; the kidnapping/abduction and deportation of citizens from these Regions to detention centres in Yaounde to be judged in the French language, a language they barely understand as well as in other places notably Bafoussam, Buea and Bamenda; the unjustified mass killing of innocent armless civilians which has of late degenerated into the killing of members of the security forces in very murky circumstances; just to name these few. This is unacceptable.

“The population is crying for a way out of this impasse and voices have called for a meaningful and inclusive dialogue to find long lasting solutions to the problem.
“The Government is applying a military solution to a purely political problem whose existence is now universally acknowledged.

“In its recklessness, the Government has encouraged its functionaries and elite to refer to Anglophone Cameroonians as terrorists to be killed, ‘dogs’ to be caged and ‘rats’ to be exterminated. The public media has been transformed into a ‘Radio Mille Collines’ of yesteryears.

Any attempt to march in solidarity with the Anglophones in the country has been repressed whereas the CPDM can organise demonstrations, marches and manifestations in support of the Government and CPDM positions at will.

“Members of the SDF Parliamentary Groups are dismayed that instead of listening to the cries of the people, the CPDM Government embarked on a meaningless exercise of sending members of its Central Committee accompanied by its elite to go to Anglophone Cameroon to wine and dine with its militants and concoct on return to Yaounde a report to its National Chairman who doubles as President of the Republic that reiterate their now famous slogan of the ‘oneness and indivisibility’ of Cameroon as a Decentralised Unitary State.

This is what they know that their National Chairman wants to hear!
“The SDF on its part has always stood for a Federal form of State as outlined during the rallies of its Parliamentarians in Bamenda and Buea on the 28th November and 5th of December 2016 respectively at the onset of this crisis.

“It is worth noting that for over 20 years, this country has been more centralised unitary than decentralised unitary with strong men and weak institutions during which period the decentralisation has not moved an iota and that this country has moved from a Federal Republic (1961 to 1962) to a United Republic (1962 to 1972) to a Centralised Republic (1972 to 1984) and then to a Decentralised Unitary Republic (1984 to date). Why has any discussion on the form of the State become suddenly a taboo? Has God spoken?

“Parliament has been rendered a very weak institution in this country. This explains why for over a year, no discussion, let alone a parliamentary debate has been organised or allowed in either House of Parliament on the Anglophone Problem. Any mention of the Anglophone Problem has been suppressed.

The Speaker of the National Assembly as well as the President of the Senate contend themselves with repeating the stance of the Executive in their respective speeches during the opening and closing ceremonies of the three sessions that have taken place during this crisis. The session that opens today is the fourth in the series of sessions since the crisis began. It cannot and should not be business as usual.

“In view of the irrelevance of Parliament as far as the Anglophone Crisis is concerned, the SDF Parliamentary Groups in both Houses have decided to withhold their participation at the opening sessions of both Houses and reserve the right to further do so during the entire session if adequate measures which should include an open parliamentary debate on this crisis are not taken.”