EXCERPTS FROM THE PRESIDENT'S END-OF-YEAR SPEECH:
"...In the North-West and South-West Regions, socio-professional grievances, which the Government nonetheless strove to address adequately, were exploited by extremists seeking to impose their secessionist plans through violence.
We all witnessed the seriousness of the spillover. The symbols of the Republic were desecrated. Our children’s education was compromised by criminal arsonists who did not hesitate to burn down schools and attack students. Economic and social activities were disrupted by irresponsible strike calls imposed on the population through threats, intimidation and violence. Bomb attacks were carried out. Many of our compatriots lost their lives in violence perpetrated by secessionists. Members of our defence and security forces were assassinated in cold blood in the line of duty.
I would like to invite you to spare a thought for all our fellow citizens who lost their lives in this crisis. On behalf of the entire Nation, I would also like to extend our heartfelt condolences to all the bereaved families.
As I reminded you recently, it is my duty to ensure republican order, social peace, the unity of the Nation and Cameroon’s integrity.
In this regard, I have issued instructions that all those who have taken up arms, who perpetrate or encourage violence should be fought relentlessly and held accountable for their crimes before the courts of law."
"The security operations conducted to that end have already yielded excellent results. They will continue unabated, but without excesses. I congratulate the defence and security forces on the bravery, determination, restraint and professionalism they have demonstrated thus far.
I am aware that the wish of every Cameroonian of good will is to see an end to tensions in the North-West and South-West Regions and a return to normalcy. The vast majority of Cameroonians aspire to live together in peace.
Bearing in mind this aspiration, I set up the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism which will play a key role in promoting our togetherness.
It is in the same light that, at the onset of the crisis, I requested the Government to engage in a constructive dialogue with English-speaking teachers and lawyers to seek solutions to their demands. The Government took many actions following the dialogue, even going beyond the initial demands. Others are ongoing or in the pipeline.
I should make it very clear that, to my mind, dialogue has always been and will always remain the best means of resolving problems, so long as it is strictly in line with republican legality."//