28 Nov

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

The Southern Cameroons question can only be resolved through “National Dialogue” and a “Sovereign Constitutional Conference” to re-negotiate the terms of Union between the former colonial entities of French and British Cameroons.
The preliminary things to do towards a resolution include:

– “Accept” that a minority entity problem exists in Cameroon. State elites and some people have gone on record to officially deny the existence of this problem and as such this denial has taken away energies that come with efforts to initiate dialogue instead.

-Define who is an anglophone, a francophone, a ‘Camerounais’ and a Southern Cameroonian. It is trivializing when people liken the denomination “Anglophone” in Cameroon to equate to an ethnic group facing problems just as any other ethnic group in Cameroon such as the Fulani or Bamileke. (In our situation the question has to do with nationalism so here anyone can be an anglophone or francophone due to the official status of the two languages but not everyone can be a Southern Cameroonian or East Camerounian as these two are divided as a function of history, geography and ethnicity.)

– Discipline all military personnel for their recurrent resort to the use of lethal means and other repressive tactics against all forms of civil disobedience in a move to redeem the image of the armed forces and signal the will to uphold the rule of law and internally democratize its own self, regardless of the stakes at hand. By continuously denouncing the legitimate agitations of Southern Cameroonians as being manipulated by anti-government agents, this posture seizes from the citizen their capacity as a rational agency of change. Thousands of people across such amount of territory cannot be totally wrong for articulating a peculiar set of demands or feel a uniformed set of discontent.

It should also be recalled to note that Cameroon is a signatory to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture).The use of force and abuse on the youths in the photo below taken today is very disproportionate!
To all Cameroonians of Southern Cameroon extraction and sympathy, now is not the right time to be a regime apologist or play the neutral humpty-dumpty. For the sake of justice, peace, equality and fairness one must stand with the people and denounce this level of brutality and violence witnessed by the people from this people dis-oriented government clique and their lackeys. You can criticize your government without tearing down the state you’re affiliated to, all it takes is to come down your intellectual and moral high-horse.


For further reading on this issue, I am strongly recommending this gold mine by Piet Konings : Neoliberal Bandwagonism:Civil society and the politics of belonging in Anglophone Cameroon https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/22173/ASC-075287668-437-01.pdf?sequence=2

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