By Monica C. Nkenganyi
AmbaNews24 Correspondent – New York, USA
The US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Peter Nagy is currently in London on a mission to lobby the British government to support the Swiss-led mediations between Cameroon and some “Ambazonian separatist” movements that have consented to Switzerland facilitating talks between them and the Republic of Cameroon. The US diplomat arrived in London on July 3.
Assistant Secretary Nagy will also be travelling to Lisbon in Portugal where he will seek the support of the Portuguese government for the same mediation in the context of economic growth and security in Africa. While in Lisbon, he will deliver a speech on U.S-Africa policy at the Institute of Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP) of the University of Lisbon in Portugal. His mission in Europe will end on July 11, 2019.
AmbaNews24 has been reliably informed by a source on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C that America’s foreign policy priority at this time is to promote democracy in Cameroon, not to advocate independence and sovereignty for Ambazonia. While there is consensus within the U.S government that the dictatorship and authoritarianism of the Paul Biya’s regime is unacceptable and incompatible with the advancement of democracy and human rights in Cameroon, supporting independence for Ambazonia by the USA, our sources say will inspire and encourage other separatist and secessionist movements in Africa. The Biafra struggle for self-rule in neighboring Nigeria is a case often referenced, and it could destabilize the entire Gulf of Guinea. Consequently, a federation or any other form of government that grants the Ambazonian people greater autonomy within Cameroon is a preferred option. Tibor Nagy, our sources intimated, has the duty to sell this to America’s foreign partners.
On May 17, 2019, Nagy told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee that the two countries option, namely the existence of Ambazonia as a sovereign state separate from Cameroon was an impossibility. He said this is because ‘both Cameroonians, including the Cameroonians in southwest and northwest [Ambazonians] have a sense of Cameroonianess in them, and the concept of a separate – what they call “Ambazonia” in my view is not realistic. It is the view of the United States of America to recognize the territorial integrity of Cameroon.’
Britain on its part is significantly concerned about the fate of the £1.5billion New Age Oil deal it signed with Cameroon in June 2018 if Ambazonia becomes independent and sovereign. The oil concessions New Age will be exploiting are all in Ambazonia’s Rio del Ray oil basin. Thus, Britain’s foreign policy has been to maintain that the Ambazonia conflict is simply an internal matter of Cameroon. Accepting the Swiss-led mediation will be an alteration in this policy as it will change Britain’s characterization of the conflict as Cameroon’s domestic problem requiring no international intervention to an issue of international mediation. Nagy is hoping that Teresa May’s departure from office as the Prime Minister of the UK will make this change in policy possible under the new British administration. To satisfy Britain’s interest in the New Age oil deal, however, Assistant Secretary Nagy thinks that a federation under Cameroon will be an acceptable option for Ambazonia.
In the above regards, therefore, those who see Nagy’s comments on twitter in support of the Swiss-led mediation as a sure path to Ambazonia’s independence must be living in the dream world of false hope.
The Ambazonia Governing Council under the leadership of Dr. Cho Ayaba has been working for months within the corridors of power in London to cause the UK change this position of considering the Ambazonia Conflict as an internal affair of Cameroon. Britain’s policy essentially seeks to satisfy Cameroon and foreign interest at the detriment of the ultimate good of the Ambazonian people. The UK recently created an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cameroon that is chaired by Lord Anthony Boateng and Tonia Anotoniazzi.
AmbaNews24 reached out to Dr. Julius Nyih Nyiawung, Vice President of the Ambazonia Governing Council on the current trajectory of events in the international arena. He said his office is aware that the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy put out a twitter message supporting the Swiss-led process. The Governing Council of Ambazonia is also aware that the U.S State Department has generally called for dialogue without preconditions. ‘This implies,’ he noted, ‘that “federation” itself should not be a condition.’
Dr. Nyih observed that democracy is a cornerstone of both America’s political existence and foreign policy. Upholding democracy requires that the people of Ambazonia should freely determine their own future. That is what the right to self-determination means. It implies that the Ambazonian people, because they meet the definition of ‘a people’ under international law, should determine their own existence. No one, whether Cameroon or any other country, should force an option on Ambazonians, or deny the Ambazonian people the right to independence and sovereign existence again as it happened in 1961.
The Vice President was emphatic that the Ambazonian people will not simply fold their arms and watch the Swiss or any other party replay in the 21st century the role that Britain played in 1961 to deny the Ambazonian people the right to independence and sovereign existence. The British lobbied the UN to subject the erstwhile Southern Cameroons (now Ambazonia) into “colonial federation” under Cameroon by falsely telling the UN that we did not qualify to be a sovereign nation.
Dr. Julius Nyih underlined that six decades of oppression by the Republic of Cameroon and endless killings of the Ambazonian people because of such absence of total freedom for Ambazonia are lessons that have been badly learnt. He went on to say that ‘we shall not be fooled again’. He added that the future of the Ambazonian people lies in their hands, and they must focus on defending the territorial integrity of Ambazonia and not be distracted by talks on mediation that can fail as many others have failed. ‘We must learn a lesson from the Americans themselves who call that country, “Land of the free and the home of the brave,” he stressed, ‘and will never accept to form a federation with Mexico and give the Mexicans room to lord it over them.’
The US, UN, Europeans cannot force Ambazonia to remain under oppression by Cameroon in any form of government. A similar mistake was made in 1952 when the UN decided to make Eritrea a federal component of Ethiopia. It took a 35yrs armed liberation struggle that unnecessarily claimed the lives of over 100,000 people on both Ethiopian and Eritrean sides for Eritrea to become independent, reclaiming the sovereignty that was denied to it in 1952. On July 4th, 1776 thirteen former colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain decided that it was time for them to free themselves from the yoke of servitude, from a very ruthless tyrannical colonial administration. This decision by the original states that met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania wrote what became known as The Declaration of Independence for the modern USA – a document that remains a foundational inspiration for all peoples of the world in their quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.