The French Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Gilles Thibault, has reiterated that the solution to the Anglophone Crisis rocking Cameroon now is pacified, open and visible dialogue.
“I keep saying that a lasting solution to the so called Anglophone crisis can only be reached through a pacified, open and visible dialogue between Cameroonians,” the Ambassador stated.
He was addressing guests at his residence in Yaounde during a party organised to mark the commemoration of the French National Day on Saturday, July 14.
The event marks the storming of the Bastille (prison) which was the turning point of the French Revolution of 1789. The Ambassador seized the opportunity to reiterate France’s position on the Anglophone Crisis.
He said peace can only be brought back to the Northwest and Southwest Regions with the support of elite, traditional chiefs, civil society, religious leaders and all willing men and women of the country. He said the crisis was posing serious security and unity challenges to Cameroon.
Said he: “France is, and will remain by their side (Cameroonians), wherever they come from, whatever their religion and, of course, their language. Since I started travelling across this “Africa in miniature” I keep saying that we will spare no effort to ensure that the isolated or peripheral regions which suffer from an insufficient development find loyal support”.
Such an endeavour, he went on, is the reason why the French Secretary of State, Jean-Baptist Lemoyne, insisted on going to Douala and Buea after meeting the country’s highest authorities in Yaounde.
The diplomat underlined France’s stand as far as the ongoing crisis is concerned. Hear him: “But, let there be no mistake. Whereas our commitment to the rule of law and to the respect of human rights is as strong as it can be, France cannot interfere in the internal affairs of an independent and sovereign nation.
However, non-interference does not mean indifference. As I have said numerous times, we cannot accept the violence perpetrated by illegal armed groups, which has already taken a toll on the population.
I would like to offer my sincere condolences to all the victims of attack and their families. The security and defense forces, for their part, should commit to humanity and have constantly in mind the wellbeing of the population.”
Given the various crisis rocking many countries of the world, he said, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, will organise a security forum in Paris from November 11-13.
While harping on cooperation ties between the two countries, he presented an inventory of the many projects that France was carrying out in Cameroon. He highlighted France’s sponsorship of agricultural projects in many areas. He revealed that his country has participated in the construction of youth training centres in Ndop, Bandjoun, Ebebda, Maroua, Douala and Edea.
France has equally assisted the Bamenda, Baffoussam, Douala, Bertoua, Garoua and Maroua Urban Councils in their drainage and sanitation programmes. He enumerated other projects that France was carrying out in the domain of health, energy and security.
As far as development aid is concerned, the Ambassador said France has offered Cameroon more than one billion Euros in the past 10 years. He lauded Cameroon for showing so much hospitality by receiving refugees from many different countries.
He expressed joy that the French national team was going to play the finals of the world cup and highlighted the important role the Cameroonian-born French players, Kilian M’Bappe and Samuel Umtiti, were playing in the team.
The Post Newspaper