Cameroonian president calls for national dialogue to end conflict in Anglophone regions

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-11 12:40:15|Editor: Yurou
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YAOUNDE, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Cameroonian President Paul Biya on Tuesday called for a national dialogue to resolve the crisis that has rocked the country's two Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest for over two years.

The dialogue will be held from the end of September, and will focus on "ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the Northwest and Southwest regions", Biya said in a rare address to the nation on Tuesday evening.

Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute would chair the dialogue which would bring together governmental officials and representatives of armed separatist groups.

Separatists who refuse to drop weapons "will have to contend with our defence and security forces," Biya said.

Without naming the countries, the president said the armed separatists were "mainly inspired from abroad," and the solution to the crisis "lies within our Republic."

"Cameroon will remain one and indivisible," Biya said at the end of the speech.

Government forces and armed separatists have been clashing in the Northwest and the Southwest since 2017 after separatists declared "independence" of the two English-speaking regions from the largely French-speaking Cameroon.