It is with a very big sorrow that I’m writing you about what is happening to my fellows brothers and sisters of the Anglophone regions of Cameroon (South West and North West).
Is there an Anglophone problem? Yes, of course there is an Anglophone problem.
Has this government really cared about the fate of our children? Can a government that cares for its children send soldiers to rape, torture and kill them?
What is the need going to school to finish and be jobless for 10years because your certificate is not considered or because your educational system is underlooked by the employer?
The National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom said last week that 62 persons were arrested in the the North West and South West region, meaning according to the National Commission, 8 were missing and haven’t been found anywhere in Cameroon prisons.
Out of the 54 government arrested, they first released 13 and later on 21 making a total 34 released.
When you subtract 54-34 = 20, meaning according to the government they still have 20 detainees with them, therefore government has not told us were this 8 detainees have been kept. Presumable they are those we were told they were shut dead.
It is true to be said that Anglophone Cameroon want to be reinstituted to their normal position as the case of before the 1961 plebiscite which brought them into contact with “La Republic du Cameroon”
Before the independence of Cameroon i.e after the defeat of Germany by the Allies France and Britain, there were two Cameroons. La Republique du Cameroun and the formal British Cameroon or West Cameroon came together in 1961 through a Conduction of the Plebiscite. They both agreed to be of Equal Statues with no aim of assimilating the other under Ahidjo.
Right from the presidential decree of 1984 which stipulated that the name of the country is and will henceforth be “La Republic du Cameroon” which gave way for the regime to manage and control our resources and affairs. This amongst other have culminated to the various areas of Anglophones marginalization that we find today.
The main problem of Anglophones is with the Government and not the Francophones.
The state/government/francophones people from French speaking regions are condemning all the protests and peaceful strikes going on now in the North West and South West of Cameroon. The main points spoken out now by anglophones: the senior administrators found in these regions (NW and SW) are French speaking how can for instance a governor preside a meeting in French with English speaking people? How can a old woman going in a hospital to describe her illness in front of a French speaking doctor? Presently the road from Bafoussam to Mbouda (French zone ) is tarred, but from Mbouda to Bamenda (English zone) is untarred, because the abandoned the work, how can a French mathematics teacher teaches mathematics in an English class or school? Etc
The president in his last end of year speech said according to the constitution, Cameroon is One, United and Indivisible Country. That is true and Anglophones aren’t against it, what they really want is the effective decentralisation of public affairs so that, they themselves should manage their own things without necessary coming to Yaounde.
For the lawyers they too complained, because they want their law should be applied in their Anglophone regions. How can a French lawyer or French judge come to Bamenda English region to implement or apply the civil law (French law )? Instead of applying the common law (English law)? It can’t work.
The consortium (made of Anglophone lawyers association,Teachers union and civil Anglophone society) met in Bamenda for a discussion with the 21 adhoc committee representing the state. Before the day of discussion, some state officials went to meet some traditional chiefs to bribe/corrupt them with money but these chiefs didn’t take it and it greatly hurted the government. On the 9th of January this consortium declared the “Ghost town” i.e no school in SW and NW, since the government didn’t want to listen to their complaints.
After 3 days discussion between the state and the consortium, nothing has changed, the government imposed the people of the consortium to sign certain documents and to uplift/resume school in these two regions but they refused to signed it because their demands are not taken into consideration by the government.
The minister of Territorioal administration banned any meeting or regrouping of the members of this consortium and they said also that their association i.e SCNC (Southern Cameroon National Council) is illegal and can’t more hold any meeting but the irony is that, they forget that it is with this same consortium that these government ministers discussed two days with at Bamenda. 4 members of this consortium were caught and there are presently in Yaounde Central prison and the state said they will be more attestation again.
The president of the consortium said the peaceful strike will continue even if all of them are arrested, the Ghost town i.e no school this year in these two regions until their demands are fulfilled by the state will continue. Presently they entered in to contact with people from abroad (USA) to propagate their struggle for the better future of the present and future youths of Anglophones. I hope that UNO and other international organizations will soon intervene in this Anglophone problem soon.
The president of this consortium said if the government persist to do nothing, they will therefore do everything to obtain their own federal state. I personally I’m not for this federal state, since it is almost impossible, but I’m for a an effective decentralisation of the government powers. My cousin is presently in Douala in the house, sitting doing nothing and very worried that she may loose one year without schooling and she is normally doing her baccalaureat this year. For her mother, she paid the school fees of her daughter at 400000frs (a boarding school in Limbe -PGSS) and she is very annoyed because they will not give back the money to parents and the child will loose one year, what a desaster.
What I like or appreciate in this strike of Anglophone is their spirit of ONENESS/TOGETHERNESS and the solidarity among them,this is what make them to resist to their strike till now with the government although their small number, as Anna always said Change always come from one person or few persons, I confirm it again once more. This is what is lacking to francophones this spirit of Anglophones. What anglophones are doing now is for the interest of all and not only for them, we all know Cameroon is sick, things have to change but we (francophones) although we are big in numbers, we still don’t, or we are afraid to do something for things to change we just sit by complaining, without doing nothing. – Armand