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Major National Dialogue: PM Dion Ngute Says Separation Is Not Possible

If history has made us heirs to two official languages,
English and French, we should use them as a source of
opportunity and not as a source to undermine our living
together, we should make them levers of our social
progress, and not obstacles leading us towards the
unknown abysses of division and separation.

The President of the Senate,
• The Right Honourable Speaker of the National
• President of the Economic and Social Council,
• The President of the Constitutional Council,
• The First President of the Supreme Court,
• Distinguished members of Government,
• Heads of diplomatic Missions,
• The Governor of the Centre Region,
• The Senior DivisionalOffieer of the Mfoundi Division,
• The Government Delegate to the Yaound é City
• Fellow Cameroonians from the diaspora,
• Deal’ compatriots from the Adamawa, Centre, East,
Far-North, North, North-West, West, Littoral, South
and South-West Regions,
• Distinguished guests,
• Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very honoured to take the floor today, on the
the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Major National
Dialogue convened by the President of the Republic, His
Excellency Paul BIYA.
I would like to thank each and every one of you most
sincerely for responding favourably to the invitation you
received to be part of this exceptional appointment in our
common history.

I particularly welcome our brothers and sisters who
have come from the remotest areas of our country and
those who have come from abroad to attend this Major
National Dialogue.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On 10 September2019, President Paul BIYA solemnly addressed the nation. In his message, he recalled the
corporate origin of the crisis that has been hitting the
North-West and South-West regions of our country since

The Head of State highlighted the measures taken by authorities to address the concems raised by English speaking teachers’ and lawyers’ unions. He also pointed out that Government’s response to these concems has
gone well beyond the expectations of ofthese unions.

However, a secessionist project was added to the
corporate demands, leading to déspicable acts of violence
and seriously disrupting economic and social life in these
two regions.
It is in order to put an end to these acts of violence, and
to enable the North-West and South-West Regions to
regain the necessary serenity for the full development of
the people living there, that the Head of state decided, in
his memorable speech to the nation on 10 September
2019, to convene this Major National Dialogue.

We are therefore gathered here to seek to give our
the national community in general, and our brothers and
sisters in the South-West and North-West, in particular, a
a beam of light in the dark night of this tribulation.
We are here to pay tribute to all the innocent victims of
the atrocities of the last three dark years.
Allow me, at this juncture, to ask you to stand up and
observe a minute’s silence in memory of the innocent
victims of this conflict.
[…] Thank you.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Major National Dialogue convened by the
President of the Republic to bring together Cameroonians
of goodwill in the same place and space, offers us the
an unexpected opportunity for a collective start, aimed at
finding concrete and pragmatic solutions, far from petty
squabbles, to the problems that have separated us
physically and intellectually in recent years.
This dialogue offers us the opportunity to find, in the
model of the commitment of our country’s founding
fathers, the strength to transcend our differences and to
make our cultural diversity a source of wealth for our
If history has made us heirs to two official languages,
English and French, we should use them as a source of
opportunity and not as a source to undermine our living
together, we should make them levers of our social
progress, and not obstacles leading us towards the
unknown abysses of division and separation.

From this perspective, the gravity of the situation in
the North-West and South-West Regions must challenge
and concern us, but above all, it must oblige us aIl,
individually and collectively, regardless of our regions of
origin, our political or religious convictions, to achieve a
the result, that is, to restore peace and tranquillity in these
two Regions.
Yes, it is the quest for this objective that must, as everyone knows, drive us during the next four days of our . . . meeting, at this crucial time in our history.
Cameroonians are watching us. The whole world is watching us.

It is now up to us to show how we want to make
history: do we want future generations to remember
that we were unable to find consensual answers to
concerns that are not insoluble? Or, do we want to be
considered as true ”peacemakers” in resolving this
the crisis that has deprived many of our children of their
parents, their education, and threatens their future,
sometimes irreversibly?

Our common intelligence and individual
responsibility must lead us ta defend peace, at aIl times
and in aIl places, at aIl costs, and to reject the horror of
war, its massacres and atrocities, which penalise
individuals and the community in every way.
The ideal of peace, the first element of our motto,
which the Head of the state is tirelessly working to promote
and consolidate, must be the absolute quest for this
important national meeting.

That is why aIl components of our nation have been
invited to participate. In accordance with the wishes of
the President of the Republic, these include
representatives of public authorities, international and
non-governmental organizations, associations, political
parties, trade unions, companies, the diaspora, clergy,
intellectuals, journalists, traders, armed groups,
traditional leaders and other opinion leaders. In other
words, of all men and women who love peace and

The density and relevance of the contributions
collected through different channels, during the
consultations I have held over the past two weeks and
beyond, on the instructions of the Head of State, have
enabled me to appreciate the eagerness of our
compatriots to work in one way or another to restore
social peace, resume economic activities and rebuild
infrastructure in the North-West and South-West Regions
of our country.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This Major National Dialogue that brings us together
throughout this week will undoubtedly allow us to
deepen our reflection on various issues related to the
future of our country.
In accordance with the roadmap defined by the Head
of State, our discussion will focus specifically on eight
(08) main themes, namely:

bilingualism, cultural diversity and social
• the education system;
the judicial system;
• assistance for the return of refugees and
displaced persons;
• the reconstruction and development of the
Regions affected by the crisis;
et disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
of ex-combatants from armed groups;
• the role of the diaspora in.the crisis and their
contribution to the country’s development;
• and finally, decentralization and local
These themes will be discussed during plenary sessions, then further developed within the framework of work in commissions, which will begin this late afternoon.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The future of our country is in your hands. Itis a future that we must aIl build together, here and now, on the occasion of this Major National Dialogue.
I, therefore, appeal to the sense of patriotism and responsibility of each and every one of us. Throughout our work, let us live up to the expectations that the Head of state and our compatriots have placed in us.

As the Head of State already reminded the nation in
one of his speeches, we must be worthy of the sacrifice
made by our illustrious predecessors to build the
Cameroonian Nation, and the legitimate struggle they
waged against oppression in the quest for freedom.
It is therefore mindful of our capacity and
determination to take up this important challenge, and
strengthened by our common hopes to meet the deep
aspirations of the people of the North-West and South
West Regions, and of aIl the other components of the
Nation, that I declare the Major National Dialogue open.

Long live His Excellency Paul BIYA, President of the Republic, Head of state!
Long live Cameroon!
Thanks for your kind attention.

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