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Resolution of Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon, 9-10 September 2019

Political Change in Central Africa and the Role of Social Democracy

A meeting of the Progressive Alliance of Central Africa took place on 10 September 2019 in Yaoundé (Cameroon) to discuss issues related to social democracy and the socio-political situation of member countries. The meeting was chaired by the APAC Coordinator, the Honourable Joshua OSIH, and was attended by the leaders and high-level representatives of the member parties. The following decisions were adopted by consensus:

1- Regarding member party developments

APAC reiterates its sincere congratulations to the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) for the brilliant victory of its candidate, H.E. Felix Tshisékédi, at the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of 30 December 2018 and gives it its full political support.

2- Regarding the Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

President Martin Ziguélé was asked to set up a working group to draft a Manifesto of progressive forces of Central Africa, which could eventually be extended to Africa as a whole.

All member parties are reminded to send in their suggestions as to which unions might participate at APAC with an observer status.

3- Regarding the Progressive Alliance;

Member parties are informed that the elective congress of the Progressive Alliance will be held in Stockholm from 15 to 16 November 2019 and APAC would like all its members to attend the congress. Invitations, registration and application forms will be sent out in the coming days by the Progressive Alliance coordinator.

4- On the socio-political situation of the member countries of the Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

Considering the constitutions, laws and regulations of the member countries as well as the various treaties, conventions and agreements ratified;

Considering the guiding principles of the Progressive Alliance;

Regarding the socio-political situation in Cameroon

Given the persistence and dangerous escalation of the socio-political crisis in the south-western and north-western regions,

Considering that Cameroon shares its borders with five other countries in the Central African subregion, and that the continuation of this war will have disastrous consequences in the subregion and also in neighbouring Nigeria, a West African country,

The Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

  • Condemns the violence used by different actors against the population;
  • Reminds the sub-regional and international community that Cameroon is experiencing a civil war in the English-speaking areas;
  • Reiterates its support for the SDF and gives it its support in this fight related to the so-called Anglophone crisis;
  • Calls on the government in office to put an end to the war and especially to banditry, which is fuelled by a situation of insecurity in the north-western and south-western regions;
  • Urges the separatists and the Cameroonian army to exercise greater restraint and reminds the regional and international community that if this socio-political crisis is not resolved quickly and effectively, it will lead to an irreversible separation of Cameroon and have an inevitable impact on the Central African sub-region;

Regarding the socio-political situation of Equatorial Guinea

Considering the deplorable evidence that there is no independent media, as all existing media outlets are at the service of those in power, which is in violation of the laws governing individual and collective freedoms,

Considering the restriction of the freedom of expression and opinion of the opposing APAC member parties and their arbitrary arrests,

The Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

  • Denounces the absence of independent media capable of disseminating information freely;

Condemns the existence of media devoted to and paid by the rulers;

  • Denounces the arbitrary arrests in violation of the freedom of expression, in particular that of the Secretary General of the CPDS in Chad from 11 to 24 April 2019;

Regarding the socio-political situation in Chad

Considering the evidence that there has been no real alternation of political power in Chad, particularly over the last 30 years,

Considering the constant and permanent interference in the management of Chad’s independent and sovereign State,

The Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

  • Calls for the establishment of an environment conducive to genuine political change in Chad;
  • Calls on the international community to respect the will of the Chadian people in the choice of its leaders;

Regarding the socio-political situation in the Central African Republic

Considering the illegal and excessive exploitation of the natural resources of APAC member countries, in particular in the case of CAR,

Considering the continuing insecurity in the Central African Republic and throughout Central Africa,

The Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

  • Calls for respect of the political agreement for peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic;
  • Calls on the guarantors and facilitators of this agreement to check and assess the non-compliance with the provisions of this agreement seven months after its signature and ask them to assume their responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of this agreement.

Regarding the socio-political situation in the Republic of Congo

Considering the recurrent violations of fundamental freedoms,

Considering the arbitrary arrests of politicians,

Considering the absence of dialogue and a credible democratic process,

The Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

  • Demands the release of political prisoners, in particular Jean Marie Michel MOKOKO and André OKOMBI SALISSA;
  • Further calls for a genuinely inclusive national dialogue under the aegis of the international community, to ensure an intermediation and follow-up on the implementation of the resulting decisions;
  • Demands a consensual preparation for a free, democratic and transparent presidential election in 2021.

5- At the regional level

Considering the evidence of severe human rights violations in the Central African sub-region,

Considering the excessive exploitation of resources and land by ruling authorities in the Central African sub-region to the detriment of the populations,

Considering the motion to dismiss the case of comrades GBAGBO Laurent and BLE GOUDE,

The Progressive Alliance of Central Africa

  • Calls on African progressive forces to state their position by adopting a social democratic agenda through the implementation of a progressive African political manifesto on the basis of respect for individual and collective freedoms, including the freedom of expression;
  • Calls on member parties to promote the establishment of a mechanism to monitor compliance with democratic values in the sub-region;
  • Calls for a fundamentally different policy in the area of natural resources management, including, among others, the adoption of draft contracts for the exploitation of national resources at the National Assembly;
  • Encourages States to provide free land titles to rural and local communities, with a right of ownership over land and soil;
  • Demands the return of President Laurent Gbagbo and Minister Blé Goudé to their country and condemns the fact that they are being detained although charges against them have been deemed insufficient.
Resolution: Political Change in Central Africa...