H.E Melono Says Cameroonians are Brave Enough to Conquer their Fears


H.E Mrs Odette Melono Head of Mission/Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Cameroonian Ambassador to the Netherlands H.E Mrs. Odette Melono has said, Cameroonians are brave enough to conquer their fears. She also called on all Cameroonians to work together to seek a common ground in reference to the developments in both the North West and West regions of Cameroon.

You have all heard the expression: “impossible n’est pas Camerounais”. There is nothing we cannot fix. There is nothing we cannot solve. But to fix anything, or to solve any problems, we must first come together as a family. We must talk, and listen to each other’s views as a family.

Ambassador Melono was speaking during the recent celebrations of the 45th edition of Cameroon National day in the Netherlands. In her speech to Cameroonians in the Netherlands and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, she also drew attention to the enormous sacrifice made by the Cameroon Armed forces in fighting against Nigerian based terrorist group Boko Haram.

On the Anglophone issues, the Ambassador pointed out that there has been very clear progress on the part of the Government, therefore, she advised; “now is the time for solution-seeking. The time to come together and talk, and even agree to disagree, if only it brings us to the most important two words: Peace and Unity “.

Read the full speech below… CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO GALLERY

(FULL SPEECH)

National Day 2017. Cross section of guests

I am  delighted to welcome you all today to commemorate and celebrate the 45th edition of Cameroon’s National Day, the 20th of May. Thank you all for coming. I hope this day will leave a lasting positive memory with you.

Dear friends

As we gather here today, let us not forget the brave soldiers of our Country who for several years are still in a bloody battle against one of the most evil Islamist terrorist groups in the world, the Nigerian-based Boko Haram. Although Cameroon was forced into a war by Boko Haram terrorists, we have successfully stopped their attempts to destabilize and violate our territorial integrity.

Several Cameroonians, civilians, and soldiers have lost their lives through suicide attacks and kidnappings. However, thanks to the determination of the Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya and the bravery of our armed forces, men, and women, who have defended every inch of the Cameroonian soil. By doing so, they sacrifice their lives to protect the unity of our beautiful country, Cameroon.

Fellow Cameroonians,

As we celebrate our national day, let us also remember the importance of this day in the history of our country. Several decades ago, our forefathers fought for our freedom and independence, and most importantly, for the unity of our beloved fatherland. Our National Day therefore, reminds us of the day that brought us much closer together as Cameroonians…the day that showed us that,  despite our diversity, we are one people…brothers and sisters.

For the socio-political situation in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, in relation to concerns raised by English-speaking  Cameroonians, as your Ambassador, as a  mother and as a Cameroonian who loves our country as you love it,  I know that many of you, my dear brothers and sisters, are angry.

My message to you, my Cameroonian family, is this:…It is OK to raise concerns. It is OK to be angry sometimes, but it is also Ok to open our hearts and work together to seek common ground and solutions. An Irish author once said: “Every solution to every problem is simple. It is the distance between the two where the mystery lies.”

As a people, we are strong enough to bridge the gap. We are brave enough to conquer our fears…but most importantly, we are wise enough to know that a crisis can not last forever. The concerns we have…the fear we have…the doubts we have…the problems we face…the pain we feel, and even the differences of opinions we may have, will not last forever.

My dear family,        

You have all heard the expression: “impossible n’est pas Camerounais”. There is nothing we cannot fix. There is nothing we cannot solve. But to fix anything, or to solve any problems, we must first come together as a family. We must talk, and listen to each other’s views as a family.

I do not know about you, but in my family, people can rely on each other, but they also fight. They also disagree. It happens to every family. It is life…but in the end, they remember something very important: That they are family…Then they pause…have a talk…even blame each other, then solve their problems and continue as a stronger family. I am sure you must have heard this expression:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Dear brothers and sisters,

I believe that the concerns raised by English speaking Cameroonians have been heard loud and clear. As a result, a framework of dialogue with lawyers and the Teachers Unions, on the concerns raised, has been set up.

Under instructions from our Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya, the Government has taken a number of measures already, to address those concerns. Among others:

.    The setting up of the National Commission on the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculuralism, lead by the Prime Minister Peter Mafany Musongue.

  • The government has ordered the creation of Common Law departments at the Supreme Court and the School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM, so that, in compliance with the Common Law, cases from Courts of Appeal of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, can be heard in English.
  • The recruitment of a greater number of Anglophone teachers at the Magistracy and Registry Division of ENAM to fill the gap of English speaking teachers.
  • Targeted recruitment of English-speaking students judicial and legal officers and Court Registrars, over a period of four years.
  • The special recruitment of specialized interpreters, to provide services to courts.
  • A census of English-speaking judicial and legal officers with a view to increasing the number of English-speaking judicial and legal officers at the Supreme Court.
  • The redeployment of some Civil Law magistrates in Common Law jurisdictions;
  • The setting-up of a Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Buea.
  • The setting-up of a Department of English Law in the Universities of Douala, Maroua, Ngaoundere and Dschang.
  • Tailor-made training in Universities and, at the request of the Ministry of Justice, of English-speaking Judicial and Legal Officers, to enable them to work in Administrative and Audit Courts.
  • The setting up of a working group in charge of preparing courses for judicial careers in Universities and courses for the training of student judicial and legal officers at the Magistracy and Registry Division of ENAM.
  • The production of the English version of the OHADA Law.

Fellow Cameroonians,

There has been very clear progress. Now is the time for solution-seeking. The time to come together and talk, and even agree to disagree, if only it brings us to the most important two words: Peace and Unity.

As Cameroonians in the Diaspora…as educated family members, we have a role to play. We need to advisee our people back home, that although we may be hurting, nothing is impossible to fix because we are Cameroonians. So, as a Cameroonian family, we also have to be careful about external influences from non-Cameroonians. We know our country. We know ourselves, and only we can  solve our problems.

Brothers and sisters,

Now! Whether you are an Anglophone or a Francophone, I will like you to listen carefully: Cameroon was one single country colonized by the Germans until the First World War, which ended in 1918. Then in 1922, Cameroon was taken from Germany and handed to France and the United Kingdom to administer.

The point I want you to remember is that we were one country…one family, brothers and sisters up till 1922. Then we became separated and almost four decades after, we were re-united. We became one again, with two official languages. Not many countries have been that lucky. Our ancestors fought and some sacrificed their lives just to make sure that we became one country, one family again.

Therefore, as we celebrate our national day today, let us all remember that our challenges and struggles did not start today. We have overcome them before and we shall overcome them in the future.

Long live Cameroon !

Vive le Cameroun !

Thank you.

 

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