The Anglophone Problem

Opinion Paper – December 2016

WHAT IS THE ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM?

By HFA

The past few weeks will be recorded in the history of Cameroon as a period when some Cameroonians decided to stand up against what they perceive as the systematic marginalisation of a people who, by virtue of their common heritage (education, culture, way of life etc) constitute a recognisable community; and who, by virtue of history, constitute a political entity.

These times will be known and remembered amongst chapters that include
1. The wind of change by which a semblance of democracy made a breakthrough and the apparence of multiparty politics returned to the scene in Cameroon in 1990.
2. The unrest that surrounded the modification of the constitution in 2008.

However, what is particular about the unrest currently witnessed is that it has not engaged the entire nation in the same way as those of 1990 and 2008 did. Rather, its epicentre is found in the North West and South West regions which, and it’s no coincidence, are also the parts of Cameroon that constituted what was referred to as Southern Cameroons before 1st October 1961.

Considering that those parts of the country were administered by the British after the defeat of the Germans in WW1, the administrative traditions, community management, education, legal tradition and perception of government and governance are inspired by the British tradition.

Also and of course, for the above reason, the main language of administration and instruction in these parts is English… and legitimately so, in the same way as French and the French tradition are predominant in the parts of Cameroon formerly administered by the French.

As such, if there’s unrest in parts of the country where English is the main working language, it is fair to conclude that a problem exists, that the problem exists in a part of the country where English is largely spoken and on account of that, it is an Anglophone Problem which does not mean, for the moment, that Anglophones have a problem because they are Anglophones. This is important because it constitutes another dimension of the problem which we will establish later.

Note that the Webster dictionary defines Anglophone as “consisting of, or belonging to an English-speaking population especially in a country where two or more languages are spoken”.

There is therefore nothing wrong or scary about the term Anglophone nor is there anything defiant of State authority by admitting the existence of an Anglophone Problem. It is a simple fact and the denial of it actually constitutes part of the problem.

So, why do some deny the existence of an Anglophone Problem? It seems to me that there’s nothing wrong with directly citing Mr. Paul Atanga Nji, Minister in Charge of Special Duties at the Presidency, as one of such deniers since he has made that opinion unequivocally clear. Why do people such as Mr Paul Atanga Nji deny the existence of an Anglophone Problem?

The answer is simple. If you admit to the existence of a problem, then you have a moral responsibility to solve it. By denying it therefore, the substance of the problem is immediately taken off the agenda of government action. Or perhaps the opinions of the likes of Minister Paul Atanga Nji are personal opinions (to which they have a right) and do not reflect the government position. In fact, there is some evidence for this. Following the strike action by teachers and lawyers,
– The Prime Minister personally led a round of talks with the Teachers’ unions,
– The Head of State signed a decree intended to address some of the teachers’ grievances
– Government requested and obtained an English version of the OHADA law, the absence of which had been raised by lawyers.

So, either government is trying to address a problem without admitting to its existence which, once again is part of the problem; or Minister Paul Atanga Nji is acting against the purpose of government… or both. In either case, or both cases, government now has to deal with the Anglophone Problem and the Atanga Nji problem.

WHAT IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM?

So far, we have established that Anglophones have a problem. They are complaining about something. The legitimacy of that complaint is a separate issue… and we will come to that.

Our purpose at this point is to demonstrate that the grievances of Anglophones are not just grievances by individuals who hail from a finite geographical location but are grievances by a community which, by virtue of history and culture, constitute a political entity and the grievances are directly connected to that homogeneity. To achieve this purpose, we will address structural deviance, the normalisation of deviance and institutional deviance.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVIANCE
Official name of the country
The official name of Cameroon is the most compelling demonstration of the Anglophone Problem. As benign as it may seem, the name of this country: La République du Cameroun is a potential source of the destruction of the country in its present territorial form.

Notice that before the British and French administered Cameroons came together in 1961, the French administered part was called La République du Cameroun. When both sides came together, the country was named Federal Republic of Cameroon. The term federal recognised at least two political entities that had decided to federate.
In 1972, the country was renamed United Republic of Cameroon. Although this was contrary to the spirit of the Foumban accords that led to the 1961 federation, at least, the term UNITED reminded that more than one political entity were in unity, or as Barrister Harmony BOBGA puts it, an experiment of unity.

The problem with the current name of the country: La République du Cameroun, is not only that it no longer contains any reminder or indication that two political entities came into a union but also and most importantly that it is exactly the name of Francophone Cameroon before the federation.
IMPLICATION: Anglophones don’t exist as a homogeneous political entity… Anglophones have never existed… the name of the country is exactly the same as that of ONE of the political entities before 1961.

It is for this reason that some Anglophones feel that they have been colonised, occupied or simply deleted.

Dissolution of House of Chiefs
The French governed Cameroon through colonial administrators physically present on the ground to implement the colonial policy. CONSEQUENCE… In that part of the country that was French Cameroon, power and authority are seen as the uncontestable preserve of the executive.

In British administered Cameroon, the colonial administration seemed distant, and authority and power were exercised through local chiefs. CONSEQUENCE… power and authority are perceived in British administered Cameroon as the preserve of the people.

As such, and of course, The House of Chiefs was was a key component in the administration of Anglophone Cameroon. Well, it was dissolved… and a part of the Anglophone way of community management went with the dissolution.

The language of the law.
Another blatant display of institutional deviance from the spirit of the 1961 union is that French and the manners of the French tradition heavily underpin the conception of laws in Cameroon. Although the constitution clearly states that Cameroon is a bilingual country, never has a law been tabled to the National Assembly in English first. In cases where laws are proposed in both English and French versions, the English version is a translation and as in the case of the revised Penal code tabled in 2016, the quality of the English version is a function of the competence (or lack thereof) of the translator.

The underlying problem here is that if laws are systematically conceived in French, it follows that their substance and drift are informed by the traditions inherited from the culture connexed.

These examples of systematic institutional deviance could not possibly constitute issues that Francophone Cameroonians would complain about, except in solidarity with anglophones or in defence of what is right. As such, they are problems that Anglophones have BECAUSE THEY ARE ANGLOPHONES

2. NORMALISED DEVIANCE
These are really just further examples of deviance that have so fossilised into the general consciousness that they seem normal.

Firstly, inasmuch as the seating and former Heads of State have made numerous speeches over 50+ years, inasmuch as the current Head of State has made some small parts of a handful of speeches in English, no Cameroonian Head of State HAS EVER made a full speech in English. In fact Anglophone Cameroonians do not know what it feels like for one’s Head of State to make a full speech in their first official language.

This is a complaint that Francophone Cameroonians cannot make except in solidarity with Anglophones or in defence of what is right.

Secondly, no major decision such as change in law or procedure or new government or any such state matter has ever been announced in English first; nor am I aware of any such decision for which the French version is only a translation.

There’s a major radio newscast at 3pm in English and a major radio newscast at 5pm in French. There is also a major TV newscast at 7:30pm in English and a major TV newscast at 8:30pm in French. Could it be said that in over 50 years, all major decisions have been made between 3:30pm (after the radio news in English) and 5pm (before the radio news in French) or between 8pm (after TV news in English) and 8:30pm (before TV news in French) and thus announced in the next available newscast which happens to be in French? That would be ridiculous.

It seems more plausible that decisions are made at anytime of the day but HAVE TO BE ANNOUNCED IN FRENCH FIRST.

Once again, Francophone Cameroonians cannot make such a complaint except in solidarity with Anglophones or in defence of what is right.

Thirdly, ALL ministries are named in French first, then in English underneath mostly with smaller characters… as if an irrelevant footnote. Of course, one may not notice unless they’re Anglophone or in solidarity.

Fourthly, websites of all government ministries are in French and in most cases, the English subsite is either not updated, not available or Google translated. Information, when made available to Anglophones is therefore not news or is in such approximate English that it borders on insult.

The final example is Cameroon’s relations with the Commonwealth. Cameroon’s Head of State has never attended a Commonwealth Summit but regularly attends Francophonie summits which seem to be more important to him than African Union Summits. The presence of the French president at Francophonie summits and the extent of French investment in Cameroon and the diplomatic cards that may be played at these summits may be a factor in the Head of State’s decision to attend. Fair enough. But then, his non-attendance of Commonwealth summits begs the question of why a similar economic rapprochement is not made with countries of the commonwealth.
To compound the neglect… which some call marginalisation and which I call provocation, REMEMBER that the Head of State contrived to address a meeting of Commonwealth parliamentarians in French.

3. STRUCTURAL DEVIANCE
The following are further cases of deviance that either envenom the feeling of appurtenance of Anglophone Cameroonians to the nation or cause a structural imbalance in their progress.

In the Federal period, 1961-1972, professional schools were created to ensure the training of professionals needed for the development of the then West Cameroon federal state. However, in the early 70s, a disturbing trend started that engineered the structural subjugation of Anglophones. The main Teacher Training College in Bambili became an annex to the Teacher training college in Yaounde and the college in Yaounde became a HIGHER TEACHERS’ TRAINING COLLEGE. The school of Posts & Telecommunications in Buea became an annex and a HIGHER SCHOOL OF P&T opened in Yaounde.
Public works schools, schools of public administration and nursing schools followed the same pattern. CONSEQUENCE: Access, at least by proximity to higher levels of training became the preserve of Francophones. The fact that Anglophones mostly end up as deputies to Francophones in public administration is a fact of deliberate systemic social engineering… it is an Anglophone Problem.

Consider the case of the training of teachers. This example usually goes unnoticed. In 2010, a second cycle for the training of teachers was created in Bambili to train teachers at postgraduate level. If the first graduates came out two years later, it means that for 61 years, Anglophones could only be, at best, teachers trained at undergraduate level. Or, if they had a post-graduate teacher’s diploma, then they were either
a. A teacher of English/French (lettres bilingues)
b. A teacher of English (Lettres Modernes Anglaise) or
c. A teacher of any of the other subjects on condition that they took 90% of their courses in French.

The impact is that for 61 years, young Francophones were generally taught by teachers trained at a higher level than young Anglophones. In other spheres, this same technique would be seen as soft ethnic cleansing. However, for the purpose of courtesy, we will call it an Anglophone Problem.

Until the mid-90s, it took Anglophones seven years to complete primary school education compared to six years for Francophones. This gave the latter a one year head-start on the former. Also, for recruitments that require Anglophones to have at least GCE O’levels obtained after five years of secondary education, Francophones were required the BEPC obtained after four years. Cumulatively, this gives Francophones two years head-start on Anglophones. Seen as such, the fact that Anglophones are generally deputies to Francophones can be seen as fair from the perspective of experience, but the underlying social causation is criminal.

Before the creation of the University of Buea in 1992, Anglophones entering university had to adjust to meet up with their Francophone mates. REASON… the university curricula were based primarily on the structure and curriculum content of the Baccalaureate. Anglophones who had learned to take a question and ANSWER IT now had to learn how to write a “dissertation”. They had to contend with concepts such as “emmener le sujet” and “poser le problème” before answering the question. CONSEQUENCE… Anglophones simply went away… or when they stayed, they became Francophonised. As such, today, when lawyers and teachers ask for the respect of the Anglophone way of doing things, and use the case of the Ohada Laws as example, the simple translation of the text that government served does not solve the problem. The issues at stake are more profound, so profound that they constitute an Anglophone Problem.

In the Anglophone educational subsystem, students start learning Chemistry, Biology and Physics as separate subjects from their first year in secondary school. In the Francophone subsystem, students learn a general subject called science until fourth year. Thus, when a teacher with a Francophone background is sent to teach chemistry to students in first year of secondary school, his philosophy of chemistry for a ten year old is different from that prescribed by the culture of the Anglophone subsystem… that is, if he has the linguistic competence to deliver his lessons. So, when teachers ask for Francophone teachers to be redeployed from Anglophone schools, it has nothing to do with any xenophobia nor with a suspicion of their competence on a broader scale. Rather, it has everything to do with a philosophy and culture. It is the defence of that philosophy and culture that constitutes the Anglophone Problem.

The same goes for judges. A judge trained in the civil law tradition does not have the full complement of objectivity in a case that a lawyer makes if the lawyer has a common law background and has built his case on the foundations of that tradition. The call for redeployment of Francophone judges from Anglophone courtrooms therefore is not a rejection of their competence, but a critique of their adaptability to a different legal tradition. As such, it is a problem that Anglophones have because they are Anglophones… meaning that to their linguistic identity is inextricably attached a cultural identity.

Also noteworthy is the language used on Bank Notes in Cameroon. The fact that not a single word in English is found on any Bank Note used in Cameroon is something more pernicious than the term marginalisation can express. It is a problem that Francophone Cameroonians cannot complain about except by solidarity… it is an Anglophone Problem.

Finally, it should not be forgotten that when Anglophones called for the creation of the GCE Board to manage exams in the English subsystem, the Office du Baccalauréat was created first for exams in the French subsystem… as if to say that what is good should be given to Francophones first regardless of whether or not they asked for it.

Nor should it be forgotten that in Cameroon, when there is a difference in the interpretation of the English and French versions of the same law, reference is made to the French version.

These injustices are real and they affect real people. They are so systematic that they seem obviously deliberate and ultimately criminal. It is true that Honourable WIRBA quoted Thomas Jefferson… but I want to quote Honourable WIRBA: When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty”.
It is the injustices above that Anglophones are RESISTING.

WHAT THE ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM IS NOT.
The Anglophone Problem is not a matter of how many Anglophones are in government. In fact, any such references are meant to distract from the main issues at stake.

The Anglophone Problem has nothing to do with the fact that the Prime Minister is Anglophone. In fact, if it did, perhaps a reminder that the Head of State is Francophone would water down the argument. And if it doesn’t, remember that the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate, the President of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General, President of Economic and Social Council, the Secretary General at the Presidency, the Military Joint chief of staff, the head of the Police are also Francophone.

The Anglophone Problem has nothing to do with bad roads and high levels of unemployment in the North West and South West regions. Of course, these issues have been raised amongst the grievances and deniers have been quick to say that the conditions of roads and other social problems are worse in other regions. Rather, when Anglophones complain of bad roads and dysfunctional utility services, the point is that as a federation they would have managed their infrastructure better. Besides, perhaps Anglophones have a different measure for what is acceptable and the legitimacy of their complaints is not a function of whether or not other regions have complained. In fact, it should be remembered that when the wave of demonstrations started in Bamenda in 1990 calling for the return to multiparty politics, it is not because other parts of the country had parties other than the ruling party. The conditions were the same across the board, but the Anglophones’ measure of what is acceptable was different.

The Anglophone Problem is not how many people speak both languages nor is it how much inter marriage there is between Anglophones and Francophones. Some have raised such considerations in a bid to delegitimate the grievances. Well, this is as much a distraction as it is a nonsense and deserves no further comment.

OTHER FALLACIES AROUND THE ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM
Some have argued that the thought of a return to federalism is a move backwards. Well, it is not. As simplistic as the counter argument of chronology may be in dismissing the matter, it (argument of chronology) is a no less matter-of-fact argument which establishes that federalism is a move forward. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that the matter is presented as a return to federalism rather than as the institution of federalism (though institution here would mean re-institution). If this argument doesn’t add up, then it would be fair to argue that the institution of multiparty politics in Cameroon in the early 90s was a return to multiparty party politics and therefore a move backwards since multiparty politics had been practised before 1972. The logic of dialectical historicism also makes nonsense of the thought that the return of federalism is synonymous with a move backwards. There are many chances that right wing Jacobinism may take the French presidency in 2017 without that it is seen as return 300 years back in time.

Another argument that has been recurrent in denying the legitimacy of the Anglophone Problem is the colonial argument. According to proponents of this argument, the identification of groups as Anglophone or Francophone is a colonial reference which does not take into consideration the fact that before the British and French administrations, the German Kamerun covered all of modern day Cameroon. This argument is heavily flawed for many reasons. First, if the German territory satisfies the proposition against an Anglophone / Francophone divide, the German reference is no less colonial. Second, if the German period better covers the history of Cameroon, then why do proponents of this argument not make a case for the return of Equatorial Guinea and parts of Gabon into the modern Cameroon… since those too were parts of the German territory? Thirdly, if a step must be taken further back than the arrival of the British and the French, why stop with the Germans and not go further to the Portuguese whose explorers named the territory.

In fact, history does not record any single ancient empire that covers all of modern Cameroon in the same way as the Ashanti Empire covers modern Ghana or the Songhai Empire covers Mali. As such, Cameroon has European occupation to thank for its current territorial form.

What is more, the Portuguese never set-up an administration in the same way at the later occupiers did. The Germans on their part, were not around for long enough to have the kind of socio-cultural effect that the British and the French had. Evidence for the foregoing is that the English and French languages are the single socio-linguistic factors that cut across Cameroon’s 250 ethnic units. The fact that Cameroonians are made up of Anglophones and Francophones therefore is not anything to be ashamed of or be scared of. It is a fact of what we are.

Arguing against the fact that in 60 years, Anglophones have never held the portfolios of Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance, Minister of Territorial Administration, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of Police, Minister of Education, a strangely spurious argument was made by a rather curious gentleman. Confident that the idea defied common-sense, he bullied through the argument that in most countries the Head of State is the Minister of Foreign affairs and the Minister of Defence. Well that’s a lie. Besides, if the idea made any sense, it should also be argued that the Head of State is no less the Minister of Foreign affairs than he is the Minister of Tourism or of Sports. And if that line of thought must be pursued, an important matter will simply be dragged into a small smelly place that needs flushing.

WHO IS ANGLOPHONE?
This question is crucial in the understanding of the socio-cultural and political stakes of the Anglophone question and the sustainability of social cohesion. Different social dynamics and engagement with the Anglophone question place Cameroonians at different levels of the “Anglophone spectrum”

LEVEL 1
Considering that Cameroon has two official languages (English and French) and that these two languages are factors of linguistic hegemony in a country with over 200 languages, an Anglophone is a Cameroonian whose first official language is English.

LEVEL 2
These are people who descend from lineages that are founded in the former West Cameroon. Their first official language may not be english.

LEVEL 3
These are Francophones whose language of instruction is English, who have learnt English later in life enough to be affected by the English tradition and Francophones whose language of instruction is French but have lived long enough in the English speaking zones that they have either integrated the Anglophone way of life; are victims of some of the deviances highlighted above or, if they are not victims, at least they understand that Anglophones suffer institutional injustices on account of their heritage.

LEVEL 4
The highest level in the spectrum includes Cameroonians who may or may not speak English and may not be descendants of West Cameroon but who understand the Anglophone problem as presented above, admit to its existence and actively defend the right to protect the Anglophone heritage, culture and values within the spirit of the Foumban accords.

The reason why the highest level of Anglophonism includes people who may not speak English is that Anglophonism in Cameroon is not a just a linguistic identity but a socio-political outlook on the history, management and political becoming of Cameroon.

SECESSIONISTS AND MANIPULATION
Level 1 and Level 2 Anglophones do not necessarily understand the point of convergence between Anglophonism and the form of the state. This is important because the issue of the form of the State has been a matter for debate around the manifestations witnessed in the North West and South West regions recently. Oppressors of Anglophones have variously made statements such as:
– There is no Anglophone problem in Cameroon,
– Cameroon is One and Indivisible and the form of the State is not on the agenda for discussion,
– Those who argue for the existence of an Anglophone problem should constitute themselves into a political party.

The Anglophone Problem is as old as the experiment of Unity. During the negotiations that led to the Foumban accords, some Anglophones were suspicious of the intentions of the Francophone Delegation and their intentions. Of course, they were in the minority and the accords were signed.

Their input, however, was instrumental in making a case for federalism rather than full fledged unitarism. And though they fell in line with the majority, they did so in hope rather than expectation.

By 1990, the centralisation of power had become overbearing, the economy was in a mess, the challenges for Anglophones to emerge through a system heavily biased in favour of Francophones were maturing, the wind of change was blowing across Africa… the window of opportunity created by the call for multiparty politics saw the resurfacing of the sceptics in the guise of a secessionist movement – Southern Cameroons National Congress (SCNC). They called for secession as a solution to the Anglophone predicament. An All Anglophone Conference held in Buea in 1992 and another in 1994 in Bamenda to discuss the state of the union and strategise for an eventual break away. By this time, the main Anglophone emissaries to the Foumban Conference, MUNA and FONCHA had either voiced or suggested their disappointment over the failures to respect the terms and spirit of the 1961 accords. Pressure mounted both within and internationally.

Government caved in and made some concessions:
– The post of Prime Minister returned and was given to an Anglophone,
– The university of Buea was created as an Anglo-Saxon university,
– Cameroon joined the commonwealth,
– A new constitution was adopted which included decentralisation as an alternative to federalism or secession.

What should be noted from these events is that as dissatisfied as some Anglophones were with Foumban, they admitted to their minority and only resurfaced when the failure in the implementation of minimum representativeness, access to opportunity and protection of the Anglophone heritage became so painfully obvious.

The circumstances leading up to calls for secession in 2016 are exactly similar.

The fact that the country went through a patch of violence (with epicentre in Bamenda) before multiparty politics returned, the fact that MUNA and FONCHA disavowed the management of the union and that these culminated in calls for secession is evidence of the consequences of absence of dialogue or evidence that the current government only opens dialogue when the alternative threatens it’s continued reign… Exactly like 2016.

Not a single Anglophone places the secessionist card on the table on their first move. Rather, Anglophones
1. Remark injustices
2. Then complain
3. Then call for dialogue
4. Then threaten strike action
5. Then play the federalism card
6. Then play the secessionist card

It’s called THE SIX STEPS

Of course, if government starts addressing level 1 (injustices) when the plaintiff is already at level 6, the responses cannot be seen to be adequate.

Calls for a revision of the form of the state are therefore consequent on the inadequacy of the current form to address the issues at stake.

Note that the lawyers officially lodged their complaints in May 2015 and the secessionists (who must be demarcated from the lawyers and teachers) activated themselves 18 months later. The only small complication was that the refusal by government to address the complaints of May 2015 caused the lawyers to find the secessionist alternative mildly interesting.

As such, when government finally provided an English version of the Ohada Laws, it wasn’t half as interesting or as relevant as a little good faith and dialogue would have been 18 months earlier.

Also, when, in the heat of the expression of legitimate grievances, a disturbed official commented that there is no Anglophone problem in Cameroon and that the agitators are under external influence aimed at destabilising the country, the National Security Council and the Head of State, by extension, should have identified the real issues and called the authors of such misguided and wanton provocation to order.

Considering the foregoing, if the form of the state is not such that its mechanisms guarantee productive dialogue, then questions over the usefulness of that form are legitimate. But if some argue that the form of the state cannot be discussed then the constitutional provision that guarantees freedom of expression is violated.

WHAT NEXT?
We have tried to show above that beyond linguistic identity, being Anglophone in Cameroon is a way of being… a way of thinking… a way of engaging with one’s physical, social and political environment… ANGLOPHONES ARE A PEOPLE.

We have shown that Anglophones have a problem in Cameroon.

We have shown that Anglophones have the problems they have because they are Anglophones.

We have established that they are resourceful, methodical, patient and PRINCIPLED.

We have demonstrated that they have a deep patriotic feeling, but also that when injustice flirts with nation, Anglophones don’t trade principle for patriotism.

The recent events in the North West and South West Region, perhaps rightfully referred to by Honourable WIRBA as West Cameroon, are evidence of these.

Anglophones will not give in to the threat or actual use of violence.

They will not relent in the defence of their rights and in the defence of what is right.

Government will take some measures beyond the cosmetic solutions offered so far and will do so because if they don’t, federalism or more (meaning better for some and worse for others) will come earlier than the natural progression of history would have brought it anyway.

For those who can’t see it yet, at least let them hear that the kaleidoscope has been shaken and the pieces are in flux.

Cameroon will move on but it’s political form and territorial oneness will be a function of the fair management of its constituent peoples.

No Anglophone is neutral on the matter. Since the fate of Anglophones is the product of deliberate political engineering, LEVEL 1 and LEVEL 2 Anglophones will eventually feel the pinch of oppression and marginalisation and react accordingly.

All LEVEL 3 and LEVEL 4 Anglophones are at one point or another in the SIX STEPS process.
Every government action or lack of action determines the activation of a response level.

Following the events of 2016, government will make moves to quell the federalism/secessionist verve and give in to more of the demands of teachers and lawyers.

For example,
– Francophone teachers in Anglophone schools WILL BE REDEPLOYED.
– A common law BAR Association WILL BE CREATED.
– Civil law magistrates in Anglophone courts WILL BE REDEPLOYED
– Decentralisation will be accelerated
– Construction works WILL START on the Bafoussam – Bamenda highway.
– More members of government WILL start making more statements in English and French
– Some major sign posts will change to give a greater sense of balance between both languages.
– A major or minor change of government will be made just so that new faces leading the dialogue may bring a new dynamism and hope against the deadlock.

These things WILL HAPPEN… ELSE, Anglophones will be unhappy and they have shown, yet again, that they are patient but resolute. They have also shown that their continued stay in the union depends on them.

When these changes and decisions will be made, they will benefit all Cameroonians regardless of whether or not they admitted to the existence of an Anglophone Problem.

Those who continue to deny the existence of the Anglophone Problem will have to decide which side of history they want to be on.

Given the history and socio-political fabric of Cameroon, secession seems unlikely; though federalism seems inevitable.

The only real issues about federalism is “When?” and which form it will take: 2+1 or 10+1?

And if this is LEVEL 5 of the SIX STEPS, we have some serious reconciliation and management work to do or risk finding ourselves, in a near future, discussing Cameroon’s current form and territory as a failed attempt at unity.

Peace and love to all.

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One thought on “The Anglophone Problem

  1. Ayuk

    Excellent article. Balanced and fair.
    A French version should be made available so that the other side would understand the high stakes.
    There are still 2 or 3 typos to correct.
    It would have been good to bring into play to role played by Ahidjo and his unification of 1972 against the wishes of Anglophones. Also what happened to Anglophones economic assets like Yoke Dam, Santa Coffee, Marketing Board, Ombe Technical College, CDC, Limbe Port, Tiko Airport, Cameroon Bank etc. The imposition of Sonara and the non benefit to the local area.

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