Cameroon Sends Beggar Delegation to Washington DC as U.S Threatens More Sanctions
George L. Nyukighan, Washington D.C, USA
The Cameroon government has sent a high level delegation to Washington DC to plead with the USA to reinstall Cameroon as a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). A second purpose of the mission is to present to the USA the Cameroon government’s envisaged “special status” proposal for the occupation of Ambazonia and its people, in the hope that the USA will succumb to it.
The delegation led by Paul Ghoghomu, Minister of Special Duties at Cameroon’s Presidency met with Amb. Tibor P. Naggy, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs on Monday, November 25, 2019. Also present in the ten men and two women delegation was Felix Mbayu, Cameroon’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Cameroon is making this move despite its pride, arrogance
and attack on the U.S government after the Trump Administration informed
Congress two weeks ago that it will be suspending Cameroon from participating
in AGOA come January 2020. The attacks against the U.S.A did not only come from
Cameroon’s Minister of Communication in his press conference last week, but
included economists such as Gladys Mebenga at the University of Yaoundé II who
claimed that Cameroon can be successful without the U.S.A.
Cameroon government’s media assault on the USA prompted the Ambazonia Governing Council under the leadership of Dr. Cho Ayaba to issue a counter on November 21, 2019, defending the actions of the USA, and stating that the Ambazonian People stand with the U.S in its decision to suspend the Biya’s regime from AGOA.
of both the economic hardship that will progressively hid Cameroon from
non-participation in AGOA and the changing position of the U.S.A from a
consideration of the conflict as a matter between the Cameroon government and
separatist rebels to a conflict between “two Cameroons,” two separate peoples
with two distinct colonial histories, the chickens are now coming home to roast!
In 2018, Cameroon exported roughly
$220 million in goods and services to the U.S.; $63 million of it under AGOA,
over 90 percent of which was crude oil. Losing AGOA is an economic chock hole
for the Biya’s regime.
While the Ghoghomu delegation left Washington DC to New York to meet with the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to make the case for “home-grown solution” to the ongoing Ambazonia independence-Cameroon conflict, the President of the African Union (AU) Commission, Musa Faki Mahamat, headed to Yaoundé at the behest of Guterres in a mouse-and-cat game.
AmbaNews24 has learnt from reliable sources in Washington DC that the
U.S State Department had informed both Guterres and the Mahamat that unless the
Biya’s government took significant satisfactory steps to negotiate an end to
the ongoing conflict, the USA will take greater sanction measures – unilateral
and otherwise – to end the systematic atrocities of the Yaoundé regime on the
The U.S has been further
angered not only by the abusive media attacks of the Yaoundé regime on the U.S
Ambassador to Cameroon, Amb. Peter H. Barlerin, and on the U.S. government in
general, but also by the refusal of the Biya regime to receive a delegation
from Switzerland that has offered to facilitate an end to the conflict. On
November 22, 2019, the Cameroon government told the Swiss delegation that it
was not ready to receive them, which was simply a diplomatic way of saying it rejects
the Swiss-facilitation process.
The Swiss government in
July 2019 announced that it had received mandates from both sides to negotiate
an end to the conflict. This was inaccurate. The Cameroon government had not
granted a formal mandate to the Swiss, who were eager to make a public
statement to fend off other mediators that were ready to step in.
The Swiss Ambassador to
Cameroon, Pietro Lazzeri and Antione de Saint-Afrique, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Barry
Callebaut food processing company had met with Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, the Secretary General at the Cameroon
Presidency in May 2019. The subject of the meeting was to lobby Cameroon for a
cocoa deal with Barry Callebaut. AmbaNews24
learnt from reliable sources at the Cameroon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that
Antione de Saint-Afrique stated at the meeting that to access the cocoa market
in Ambazonia’s territory, Switzerland could “intervene and hasten” an end to
the conflict. Ngoh made a side comment, lauding the offer as something that
will be good for both countries.
The duo from Switzerland
on May 22 mentioned the same in a meeting to Biya, and received a verbal
appreciation similar to that of Ngoh. The Swiss construed that for a mandate,
only to find out months later that Biya’s words mean nothing without his
signature; and even when there is a signature, he can change his mind on
whatever he signs whenever he pleases – if he ever signs.
The Swiss have staked
their credibility on their hurried announcement, and are hoping that the
Americans will bail them out with pressure on the Cameroon government to commit
to the Swiss-facilitated dialogue.
Some Ambazonian movements
such as the Ambazonia Governing Council and the IG-faction of Seseku Ayuk Tabe
raised procedural concerns on the Swiss-facilitation process. They requested
that the Swiss should first get a formal commitment to the process from
Cameroon, that the process be multilateral, be backed by a UN Resolution, take
place in neutral grounds, and special envoys be appointed to the process to
give it national and international credibility before they can commit to it. AmbaNews24 has learnt from two sources
in the Swiss government in Geneva that the Swiss have accepted that these are
legitimate issues, and are addressing these concerns beginning with securing a
formal mandate from Cameroon.