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Biya, British High Commissioner Discuss Anglophone Crisis 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

President Biya and the British High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E John Brian Olley, have discussed the Anglophone crisis for the first time since the conflict erupted in November 2016.

The Anglophone crisis, The Post learnt, is one of the main topics the duo harped on during a tete-a-tete at the Unity Palace on Tuesday March 7.

Nothing has filtered out so far as to what the President and the British diplomat said specifically about the crisis. But, observers hold that Biya and Olley must have bowed their minds on seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The crisis has kept children out of school and lawyers out of court in the two English-speaking regions of the country. The situation has provoked a deepening socio-economic and political crisis in the country. Sweeping arrest and detention of Anglophones have been one of the worst fall-outs of the crisis.

There has been deepening national acrimony as citizens have been warned not to discuss federalism or any idea that has to do with changing the form of the state. To Government, the unitary state remains sacrosanct and is not open to any discussion.

For one thing, the crisis has sparked an upsurge of human rights violations according to human rights watch dog, Amnesty International.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, has also raised an alarm about seven journalists currently being detained in connection to the crisis.

Given the UK’s attachment to the culture of human rights and respect of fundamental freedoms, the British diplomat could not have been indifferent to such a situation. The meeting between the President and the High Commissioner was even more compelling because both Cameroon and the UK are members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Commonwealth, also known as the club of gentlemen, usually recommends the strict application of the rule of law and the respect of human rights in crisis situations.

Some observers hold that the UK government has a moral obligation to wade in and help the Government of Cameroon to arrest the conflict because the crisis is in the former British Southern Cameroons.

Britain occupied the territory after the Anglo-French forces defeated Germany in the battle of Nsanakang near Mamfe during the First World War. This historic affiliation with Cameroon alone could have motivated the UK diplomat to see how to contribute his own quota in brokering peace on the issue.