By Monica C. Nkenganyi
AmbaNews24 Correspondent – New York, USA

The Donald Trump administration has decided that Cameroun shall have no where to hide its atrocities in Ambazonia. Everywhere the least opportunity presents itself, the US government seizes it to remind the world that the government of Paul Biya in Cameroun is masterminding atrocities against minors, including depriving them of their fundamental right to education by continuing an unwinnable, needless, dirty war against the Ambazonian people.

Amb. Cherith N. Chalet

Such was the scene at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 when Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet, current Acting Deputy Permanent Representative of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations did not refrain from indicting the Republic of Cameroun in her remarks at the UN Security Council Briefing on Children and Armed Conflict.

Having condemned “continuing violations and abuses against children” in countries such as Colombia, the U.S Ambassador could not end her remarks without reminding the Security Council that “Beyond country situations on the Children and Armed Conflict agenda,” the United States is “deeply concerned that at least 600,000 children in Cameroon have not been able to safely attend schools in the country’s English speaking regions for more than three years.”

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations has for over a year now been pressing the Security Council to take action on Cameroun to stop the ongoing cycle of violence and human rights abuses in an armed conflict provoked by Cameroun’s illegal annexation and occupation of Ambazonia for six decades, and the consequent deprivation of life, safety and prosperity to the Ambazonian people. To end the ongoing armed conflict, the United States has several times prescribed third-party internally mediated negotiations without preconditions between the Cameroon government and the Ambazonian people as the path to a sustainable solution.

The Security Council has paid leap service to the Ambazonia War of Independence. It has failed to commit to international mediations by not appointing a special envoy to a negotiation process as the Ambazonia Governing Council had insisted as necessary in the once purported Swiss-mediated negotiations that have basically died without taking off. The United Nations Security Council has failed to follow up and adopt a resolute position on negotiations as called for by the USA; a position that forces Mr. Biya to end his unnecessary and useless declaration of war on the Ambazonian people, and to commit to third-party internationally mediated negotiations. 

Thus, Ambassador Chalet did not refrain from reminding the UN that more than 600,000 Ambazonian children not going to school for over three years “is a stark reminder that mediation requires follow-through to prevent children from once again falling prey to the deadly cycles of violence.”

Amb. Chalet’s reminder reechoes in the Security Council a position that Dr. Cho Ayaba, President of the Ambazonia Governing Council once schooled Samuel Sako Ikome on, namely, that the failure of the international system to adopt a strong and relatively unified position on credible internationally mediated negotiations is a principal reason why the purported Swiss-process has basically failed. The attitude of the Security Council actors gave Cameroun an exit route in which Mr. Biya read the international system as weak, disjointed and incapable of mounting significant pressure on its government to force it into meaningful negotiations.

Before ending her remarks, the U.S Representative again called on the UN Security Council to stop the culture of silence on matters of this importance affecting more than 600,000 children. “This Council has a duty to speak out on behalf of children, for they are our future, and our hope,” Chalet told the diplomats at the Council. But it is not enough to just speak out; “there must be meaningful action,” she added.

The Ambazonia War of Independence is entering its fourth year. Its root cause is the illegal annexation and occupation of the Ambazonia territory (the erstwhile UN Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons) by the Republic of Cameroon without a union treaty in 1961. Since then, the Cameroon governments of Ahmadou Ahidjo and tyrannical Biya have carried out systematic underdevelopment, dehumanization, oppression, resource looting, and now genocide in the territory. Cosmetic solutions that fail to address this route cause have had no effect in ending the war. On Sunday, February 9, 2020, the Ambazonian people resoundingly rejected rule by Cameroun by vastly boycotting the municipal and legislative elections organized by the Cameroun government in the territory.