Biya’s Dialogue: US Official Challenges President, Says International Mediator Needed

By Regis Che, In Buea

Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Herman J. Cohen says Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya has for the first time recognized the legitimacy of Ambazonian fighters whom he referred to as “rebels.”

According to Herman J. Cohen, the socio-political unrest that has claimed the lives of close to 2000 Cameroonians would only be brought to an end if an international
mediator partakes in the Biya announced dialogue.

On September 10, the Cameroonian Head of State announced a national dialogue which according to him, would once again create an environment for economic and social activities to resume in the country’s restive English speaking regions.

Since the crisis escalated in 2016, several foriegn bodies including the AU, UN, EU and the US Congress, have called on Cameroonian authorities and Ambazonian leaders to hold a frank and inclusive dialogue to lay the deadly armed conflict to rest.

Some critics of President Biya believe that the crisis cannot be resolved in a mere national dialogue, but one mediated by a foreign body. Herman Cohen shares the view of such critics.

“[I ]believe that an international mediator, preferably from the US, would expedite end of violence,” Cohen revealed on Twitter.

The former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs played a mediating role in the resolution of an Eritrea-Ethiopia crisis which had existed for at least 20 years.

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