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Manyu Chiefs, Elite Appeal For General Amnesty, Urgent Dialogue 

By Andrew Nsoseka

Mengot, Minister, member of Manyu elite

Chiefs of Manyu Division in the South West Region of Cameroon have appealed to President Paul Biya to grant a general amnesty to all the Anglophones who were arrested in the wake of the Anglophone Crisis.

The made the appeal in Yaounde, on Saturday, June 16, 2018, during a meeting that also that brought together elites of the Division, who are resident in Yaounde.

Besides granting a general clemency to all those imprisoned, the traditional rulers also beseeched the President to convene an urgent inclusive dialogue to stop the spiralling crisis.

The information was made public in a press release that was signed by various participants at the meeting. In the release, it was stated that the Chiefs and elite of Manyu Division, met in Yaounde, “under the chairmanship of His Excellency, Victor Arrey-Nkongho Mengot, Minister in charge of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic and Patron of the Manyu Elements Cultural and Development Association, MECDA, to review the socio-political and security situation in their Division of origin, marked by an armed conflict that has disrupted the ordinary course of life in the Division.”

After deliberating on the different issues, the participants sent out a number of recommendations and pleas, which they directed to the head of State, as a remedy to the present situation in the region.

First amongst the different recommendations, was the call on President Paul Biya, “to consider the convening of an all-inclusive, broad-based dialogue to examine urgent questions of national interest.”

It was followed by an appeal to the Head of State to, “extend an olive branch to our youths who have taken up arms and urge them to drop their weapons and return to their respective communities.”

To their young people now fighting against State security forces, they urged them to, “contribute to the creation of an enabling environment favourable for the construction of the Mamfe-Akwaya and the Bakebe-Menji-Dschang Roads”.

Apeal for Clemency

In relation to those already behind bars due to the Crisis, the Manyu elite prayed the Head of State to, “in promoting the spirit of national reconciliation, show clemency to all those imprisoned in connection with the Anglophone Crisis.”
The Manyu gathering in Yaounde also appealed to Biya to envisage the implementation of an emergency reconstruction plan to rebuild villages and other infrastructure destroyed during the Anglophone Crisis.

They further called on the President to contemplate the urgent creation of a special rehabilitation and reinsertion fund to assist the return of internally and externally displaced persons to their respective communities, and in facilitating the resumption of their normal lives through agricultural and economic activities.

The elite concluded their demands, with a pledge of their “unflinching support and attachment to the Head of State President Paul BIYA and the Republican Institutions he incarnates.”

The elite condemned what they termed “the manipulation of youths through social media postings emanating both internally and externally, particularly from the diaspora, pushing them towards radicalisation, drug abuse and endangering their lives through armed confrontations with security forces.” They also stated that they “take strong exception to the emerging culture of hate speech which is setting youths and communities against one another.”

The meeting of Manyu elite in Yaounde comes after that of other Anglophone elites and traditional leaders who have held meetings and talks out of their communities, to discuss the Anglophone Crisis and called on the population to return to the villages and communities from which they have escaped, owing to the Anglophone Crisis.