The President of Cameroon has been accused of exploiting crude oil reserves in the English-speaking west of the African state but ignoring the people of the region, which refers to itself as Ambazonia.
President Paul Biya has ruled the country since 1982 but the French-speaking majority has been accused of riding roughshod over the wishes of the English-speaking minority.
Last week rebels from the so-called Ambazonia Defence Force attacked a village in the Mamfe region of Cameroon but fled after a clash with the army.
Amos Mudoh, the foreign minister of Ambazonia — a country which is not formally recognized by any other nation — has been speaking to Sputnik from exile in Australia.
'Oil Money is Siphoned Off'
"Eighty percent of Cameroon's GDP comes from Ambazonia. That is why the French (sic) do not want us to leave. Cameroon makes $10m a day from crude oil from Ambazonia. But we don't even have schools. The oil money is siphoned off to French Cameroon," Mr. Mudoh told Sputnik.
"The main oil refinery Is in Victoria, in Ambazonia, but you will never see an Ambazonians working there, for the same reason none of the 36 generals in the Cameroon army are from Ambazonia and an Ambazonian has never been Cameroon's ambassador to the UK, US or the UN," he told Sputnik.
Mr. Mudoh claimed even the census figures were fake.
The total population of Cameroon is 23 million and the official number of English-speakers is only 4.6 million but he said eight million people lived in Ambazonia, a sliver of territory next to the border with Nigeria.
Mr. Mudoh said he could not say whether there would be further violence from the Ambazonia Defence Force.
"We can't say whether or not there will be a rebel war but if there is no amicable solution on the table what do they expect?" he told Sputnik.
The dispute goes back more than half a century.
In 1960 the former French colony of Cameroun became independent and the following year the people of the neighboring colony of British Cameroons were offered a plebiscite on whether to join Cameroun or be absorbed by Nigeria.
Mr. Mudoh said the people voted to join Cameroon but only on the basis of a "gentleman's agreement" it would a federal republic between two equal parts.
He said that agreement was ignored by the Francophones who simply ignored the Anglophone minority and trampled on them politically and economically.
In 1984 an Anglophone group, led by lawyer Fon Gorji Dinka, unilaterally declared the Republic of Ambazonia but so far no other country has offered diplomatic recognition and it remains a state only in theory.
'Paul Biya is a French Stooge'
Mr. Mudoh also claimed President Biya was just a puppet of the French government.
"No election in Cameroon is an election. You are not in power because of an election. You are there because the French put you there. Paul Biya is a stooge of France. He is a governor, not a president. Cameroon is a colony of France," Mr. Mudoh told Sputnik.
He claimed the same was the case for all the 13 Francophone nations in Africa.
"If you do the bidding of the French you are in power. That is what Biya is there for," Mr. Mudoh told Sputnik, who said he would remain as president as long as Paris wanted him to be in power.
The Cameroon Government has not responded to Sputnik's requests for comment.
The views and opinions expressed by Amos Mudoh are those of the expert and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.