English vs. French Tensions in Cameroon Turn Deadly

English vs. French Tensions in Cameroon Turn Deadly
FEBRUARY 6, 2017
YAOUNDE, Cameroon — A single student out of 4,000 showed up on the first day of the new term at one high school in Bamenda, the English-speaking city at the heart of a deadly conflict in Cameroon over language in this bilingual West African country.

Teachers have joined a strike led by lawyers resentful over the official use of French in the English-speaking part of the country. Recent protests have called for “ghost town” strikes in major cities. The government shut down the internet in the English-speaking region, digital advocacy group Access Now has said.

Tensions are so high that 10 people were killed in demonstrations over language discrimination in Bamenda in December, according to a coalition of human rights groups based in the city. The government sent in 5,000 troops to stabilize the city.

Two officials with the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium have been charged with terrorism and rebellion against the state for their role in the recent protests and face the death penalty if convicted. The government has banned the consortium’s activities. Another activist, Bibixy Mancho, faces the same charges.

Amnesty International has called for the release of Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla and Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, saying that “this flagrant disregard for basic rights risks inflaming an already tense situation.”
Full Story on The New York Times
English vs. French Tensions in Cameroon Turn Deadly