US Embassy Explains Tibor Nagy’s Concern Over Cameroon

NEWS, Politics
  • Says Nagy Simply Re-Articulated US Policy On Anglophone Crisis
  • Indicates US Respects Cameroon’s Sovereignty, But At Times Disagrees “And They Are Consequences For Such Disagreement…”
  • Reveals Gov’t Refusal To Demilitarise Anglophone Regions Forced US To Reduce Security Assistance
  • Maintains Dialogue Without Pre-conditions Is Key 
  • Warns Against Attacks On Schools, Hospitals, Patients, Civilians

The United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, recently stunned the international community, and left tongues wagging in Cameroon, when he said that after the ousting of Sudan’s President, Omar al Bashir, he was concerned about Cameroon.

Political scientists started making meaning out of the diplomat’s utterances.  However, in a bid to avoid hasty conclusion, we sought to know from the US Embassy in Cameroon the reason for Nagy’s outing and how this outing can be situated within the context of the on-going Anglophone Crisis vis-a-vis US policy towards Cameroon.

Our inquiry at the United States’ Embassy in Cameroon was promptly responded to by Lee McManis, Spokesperson for the Embassy, who acknowledged Tibor Nagy’s outing, stating that the Secretary; “re-articulated a long-standing policy of the United States on the conflict affecting the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon.”

What Nagy Said

The US Under-Secretary for Africa, in the recent outing, maintained that the Anglophone community engaged in a civil war in Cameroon is “fighting for their rights.”

He further stated that after the developments in Sudan, his next concern is Cameroon.

According to the Diplomat, the US position on the conflict in Cameroon is that of maintaining the current boundaries of the country. 

Hear him: “Cameroon is the country that I hear more about, from members of Congress, thanks to the activity of the Cameroonian Diaspora, because, they definitely let their views be known. There is an effective civil war going on in the part of Cameroon which formerly was a British colony, because, Cameroon had been two former colonies, British and French. They came together, they voted for one country under a Federation, but the Federation was done away with by the Cameroonian President, so now, the Cameroonians are basically fighting for their rights, which started with very serious complaints, but the Government of Cameroon has not responded in a way that will assuage the concerns of the Cameroonians.”

To him, “the United States Government policy; and I will say, the current policy is to recognise the current borders of Cameroon. I will say that is the current policy…”

After Sudan, Is Cameroon Next?

Commenting on the situation in Sudan, Nagy praised the downfall of Omar al-Bashir, stating that so much good news has come from Africa.

“We have had so much good news from Africa. Last year, look at what has happened in Ethiopia; look at what has happened in the horn of Africa; look what has happened in Angola; more recently, look at what has happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which for the first time in its history, may actually become Democratic and a Republic, and maybe the World’s richest country may actually share some of its wealth with its people.

“Look what happened yesterday in Sudan with people power overthrowing the corrupt bloodthirsty regime of President Omar al-Bashir. So, I will just say my next concern is Cameroon, and you know how I feel about hating the violence that is going on there,” Nagy said.

It is, however, not clear whether the Diplomat’s expressed statement about Cameroon being next, after Sudan, was in terms of regime change or pressure for an end to the war in Anglophone Cameroon, or both.

US Embassy In Cameroon Puts Nagy’s Outing In Context

In a reply to an inquiry by The Post Newspaper , US Embassy’s Spokesperson, Lee McManis, among other things, said that Nagy simply re-articulated a long-standing US policy on the Anglophone Crisis.

On the issue of sovereignty and respect for Cameroon’s territorial integrity, McManis remarked that the US respects Cameroon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but at times disagrees, “and there are consequences for such disagreement.”

In his reply, McManis revealed to The Post that the recent withdrawal of military assistance to Cameroon by the US was due to Cameroon Government’s refusal to demilitarise Anglophone Regions and Cameroon Government’s lack of transparency in investigating human rights abuses.

He stated that the US encourages dialogue without pre-conditions and warned against attacks on schools, hospitals, patients, civilians and so on.

McManis’ Full Statement 

“The Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs re-articulated a long-standing policy of the United States on the conflict affecting the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon.

We have on-going dialogue with the Cameroonian Government regarding the need to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in all of Cameroon.

The United States continues to call on both sides involved in the conflict affecting the Northwest and Southwest Regions to end all violence. 

We urge both sides to allow unfettered access to humanitarian and healthcare workers, and never to attack schools, teachers, students, health facilities, healthcare workers, patients, or other civilians and civilian institutions.

We call on both sides to enter into a broad-based dialogue without pre-conditions.

We welcome initiatives that promote dialogue, including discussions among diaspora communities and civil society. 

While the United States recognises and respects Cameroon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, sometimes we disagree and there are consequences to such disagreements. 

The US Government recently reduced security assistance to Cameroon because of our inability to reach agreement on the need for more transparency in investigating human rights violations and on the need to demilitarise the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest. 

The United States views a peaceful and stable Cameroon as critical to regional stability in Central Africa.” 

Lee McManis

Spokesperson US Embassy, Yaoundé”

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