(Business in Cameroon) - On December 17, in Paris, the French parliament questioned Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, on the political situation in Cameroon and on the security crisis in the Northwest and Southwest of this country.
“France is concerned about the situation in Cameroon. France does not simply make statements, even at the Security Council, but, it goes to the field. As you know, at the request of the President of the Republic, I visited Cameroon a month ago (...) This means that, on that occasion, I was able to meet with President Biya to put forward our concerns that you mention,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
“At the same time, these talks, I believe, made it possible to make progress on the situation of the North-West and South-West provinces of Cameroon, the so-called English-speaking provinces, because the President of Cameroon has embarked on the path of decentralization and promised that the two regions will benefit from a special status at the end of the legislative process. And there was, at the initiative of the authorities, what they called a major national dialogue held in Yaounde in late September. This is particularly right because at this very moment, Mr. Deputy, the legislative process on decentralization, to which France will provide technical support, is taking place," he added.
Indeed, since December 13, 2019, the Cameroonian parliament has been reviewing a draft law on decentralization. This bill consecrates a special status to the Anglophone regions affected by a pro-independent crisis since October 2016. Under the bill, those regions will also participate in the development of national public policies relating to the English-language education subsystem and the administration of justice in accordance with the "Common Law" subsystem (judicial system inherited from Great Britain). Regional and traditional chieftaincy development missions will also be created.
In addition, article 246 of the said law enacts that government delegates in urban communities will be elected, unlike the current system in which they are appointed by the government.