Elie Smith, Coordinator of the AGC has however told Cameroon-info.net that unlike before, their relationship with the government has improved. As such, it is left for the convenors to decide on a date and venue.
Contacted to comment on news that the Anglophone General Conference has been scheduled to hold on July 11&12 in Bamenda, Elie Smith says it is still too early to say with certainty given the very charged calendar of the convenors.
“We are still working. A date has not been fixed for now. In any case, the convenors of the conference will be meeting in Bamenda in the days ahead to agree on the venues and dates,” Elie Smith said.
According to Elie Smith, the convenors had planned to meet in Bamenda on June 5, 2019 but for the Ramadan and Pentecost feasts that fall within the same period.
The AGC coordinator says they are divided between holding the AGC in Bamenda before taking it to Buea or meeting in Buea before Bamenda. “There are those who want us to start with the historic capital of Buea before going to Bamenda,” he says.
In any case, at least three conferences will be held – in Bamenda, Buea and in the diaspora, Elie Smith expounds.
He says July 11 & 12 are tentative dates chosen by Cardinal Tumi which will be debated upon by the conveners when they meet before June 20, 2019.
Through presentations, group discussions and adoption of proposals to be forwarded to the Head of State, Paul Biya, Anglophones across the globe will use the Anglophone General Conference as a path towards resolving the deepening crisis in the country’s North West and South West Regions.
Initially scheduled for to hold in Buea, last year, the conference suffered several adjournments after authorities failed to give the go ahead. But today, Elie smith says the hitherto frosty rapport they had with government has improved and government is now inclined to support the peace efforts.
After all, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute was unequivocal when he said all meetings aimed at ending the crisis are welcome by the state.
The Anglophone General Conference is the brainchild of religious leaders like Christian Cardinal Tumi, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Rt. Rev. Fonki Samuel Forba, the President of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, Rev. Ncham Godwill, Imam of Buea El Hadj Mohammed Aboubakar and Imam Tukur Mohammed Adamu of the Bamenda Central Mosque.
The conference grasped the attention of the international community during the UN Human Right Commission general assembly late last year. Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights while slamming the Cameroon military and restoration fighters over gross violation of Human rights in the deepening Anglophone crisis, accused the government of Cameroon saying it has not done enough to promote the conference planned by the religious leaders.