International Civil Rights Icon; Joe Beasley, offers his support to Cameroon on The Anglophone problem!

Joe Beasley

International Civil Rights Icon; Joe Beasley, writes an open letter to Cameroon, offering support to help solve the Anglophone problem. See the letter:

To whom it may concern:

There are more than a few of us who are long time friends of Cameroon and have followed, with great interest and apprehension, events unfolding there since October. 

My personal ties to Cameroon goes back 50 years, two generations have been born since I first found abiding friendships with Cameroon and with its people.  Cameroon has established itself as a beacon of stability on the turbulent continent of Africa. 

However, these past weeks have left me very disconcerted. Images streaming to the world have sullied Cameroons reputation as "Africa in miniature." I have been left deeply conflicted that the issues raised by the lawyers and teachers had not been addressed forthrightly before they reached crisis proportion. 

The world and the people of Cameroon must remember the historical context that caused the separation of your Country in the first place. In 1884 the European countries, along with the United States, went to Berlin, Germany and subdivided the Continent of Africa and with "brute force" subjugated its inhabitant forcing their language, religion and culture on them. This disruption caused immeasurable suffering throughout the Continent that is reverberating in Cameroon until this very moment.

At bottom, I see your countries youth, it's future leaders and it's most valuable resource attempting to advance important issues affecting their lives and to bring this crisis to a satisfactory resolution.

These protest have led to clashes with government forces. As a result several youth were arrested and to my understanding they have not all been released or given fair hearings.  Amnesty International and other human rights organizations documented these acts. As I sit in my Atlanta office on this Martin Luther King, Jr.  Birthday week, I recall one of his most profound words "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

 I can no longer sit and be idle while I see a conflict brother against brother start to materialize.  We can't as a people sit and watch another African nation start to go down the wrong path. It is with this I want to urge the government, more specifically the President of Cameroon (President Paul Biya) and the people of Cameroon to resolve this matter with nonviolent means!

 I have more than a passing interest in seeing that the people of Cameroon come to find a lasting solution to the challenges they face.  I am firmly on the side of peace and constructive dialogue. I would eagerly lend any support I can to assist with finding and fashioning lasting answers to the issues raised in difficult circumstances. It is my fervent hope and my wish that Cameroonians should find a way to live in peace as they always have.

To this end, you can count on my complete support.

Warm regards,

Joe Beasley
Chairman - Joe Beasley Foundation

Emeritus Director – Rainbow Push Coalition 

Chair, African Leadership Advisory Board North America

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