WASHINGTON, DC, 19 January 2021 – The incoming administration of US President Joseph R. Biden has committed to address the genocidal violence in Soutehrn Camerons aka Ambazonia.
In response to questions that cited countries backsliding on democracy, President Joe Biden’s pick for US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, expanded the list of countries of concern to include recent atrocity crimes in Ambazonia as well as violence targeting Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.
“I share your deep concerns,” Blinken said in reply to Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware).
The senator’s questions focused on concerns about autocracy in Venezuela, violence in Ethiopia, efforts to strengthen the fragile peace process in South Sudan and concerns over “deeply flawed [recent] elections” in Uganda.
“We have concerns about Cameroon, particularly violence directed at the Anglophone population,” Blinken said, decrying recent massacres in Ambazonia.
Last January 10, troops from French-speaking Cameroon raided the small village of Mautu in English-speaking Southern Cameroons, killing at least nine civilians, including an elderly woman, a six-year-old girl, and boys.
Cameroon’s ministry of defense tried desperately to pin the massacre on self-defense volunteers fighting for the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons.
The regime of President Paul Biya has tried to blame other mass slaughters of civilians on pro-independence fighters popularly known as Amba Boys or Restoration Forces.
Although their troops perpetrated the Ngarbuh Massacre of 14 February 2020 and the Massacre of School Children in Kumba last October, the Biya regime tried to pin these atrocity crimes on pro-independence campaigners.
“In a whole series of places”, said President Joseph Biden’s pick for US Secretary of State, the capacity of America “to make a difference starts with being engaged”.
Without mentioning or openly criticizing the outgoing administration, Blinken’s answers suggested that the days of what one can consider absentee diplomacy under President Trump are over.
“I think it starts with our very active engagement. Not, being AWOL (absent without official leave) when these problems emerge,” Blinken reassured senators of the United States Congress.
He agreed with Senator Coons on an American foreign policy that will advocate for human rights and advance democracy, “whether it is in authoritarian states like Venezuela or it is in Putin’s Russia or it is elsewhere in the world”.
Blinken joined Senator Coons in condemning the recent “flawed elections, facilitated in part by blatant disregard of human rights” in Uganda as well as the armed conflict (since last November 4) in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, 76, was declared winner of last Thursday’s presidential election with nearly 59 percent of the votes cast.
His main challenger, pop star turned politician Bobe Wine, 38, was credited with about 35 percent of the votes cast.
“We have seen a number of deeply, deeply concerning actions taken including atrocities directed both at people in Tigray, directed at Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia. I think, we need to see greater access to the region and accountability,” said the incoming chief of American diplomacy.
The incoming Biden administration, he pledged, will support non-violent approaches of resolving the root causes of conflicts.
Blinken said he wants to see efforts in furtherance of the fragile peace process in South Sudan, in Ethiopia and in The Cameroons which “put a dialogue in place so that the issues that caused the conflict can actually be discussed and litigated, as opposed to dealt with through violence”.
On Tigray, he called for the “restoration of communications, access for humanitarian assistance”.
“I worry…,” he said of the conflict in Tigray, “that what started there has the potential to be destabilizing throughout the Horn of Africa. So I wouild like to see American diplomacy fully engaged in trying to contain with this challenges,” Blinken concluded.
Thousands of people have been killed in the armed conflict in Tigray where 500,000 people have been internally displaced and no fewer than 100,000 have fled into refugee camps in neighboring Sudan.