Wednesday, April 18, 2018
By Peter Tacheo
The Anglophone crisis, which erupted in October 2016, was not intended to be xenophobic attacks by English-minority Cameroonians against their French-majority compatriots. Both Francophones and Anglophones have co-existed for as long as the Republic of Cameroon has existed.
In fact, the Anglophone crisis is an outburst of decades of pent-up anger by the English-speaking regions (Northwest and Southwest) of Cameroon, against the majority Francophone-led Administration.
But the battle field is Anglophone Cameroon where deadly clashes between Government forces and armed separatists have been taking place as separatists seek the independence of their supposed country called Ambazonia.
Although not a xenophobic fight per se, some Francophones resident in Anglophone Cameroon have reportedly been threatened with deaths and asked to leave for their safety.
|Tangwo Ngueffe G.T|
They are accused- rightly or wrongly- of contributing money to support the Government in its crackdown of Anglophones or of leaking information about the hideouts of the separatists
A recent case is that of Tangwo Ngueffe Garcial Toscani, who was born in Loum in September 30, 1996, but later moved to Muyuka Subdivision where he was living with relations. Unfortunately for Tangwo, he was accused of leaking information to government forces about separatist fighters in Munyenge, where deadly clashes between government forces and separatists have been recurrent.
Hinted of a plan by some unknown men to abduct him, Tangwo and relations escaped. But their residence was reportedly later burnt down. It was not clear who committed the arson.
But the military has been accused of burning houses and villages, suspected to be hideouts for armed separatists while unknown men ,believed to be separatists have attacked and or kidnapped those their consider as the enemy to their struggle for independence.
Many other Francophones especially in Meme and Fako Division, who reportedly received anonymous threats, have also relocated to Francophone Cameroon.
Cameroon’s Northwest & Southwest regions o were formerly known as UN British Southern Cameroons, which had gained independence from the British on October 1, 1961, by joining with La Republique du Cameroun, for both states to become a federation.
But the federation was abolished in 1972 against the spirit of the federal constitution, which in its 47(1) stated: “Any proposal for the revision of the present constitution which impairs the unity and integrity of the federation shall be inadmissible”.
The country then became United Republic of Cameroun and in 1984 it was renamed La Republique du Cameroun, the name by which French Cameroon was called when it got independence on January 1, 1960.
Since the union of Francophones and Anglophones, the latter have persistently complained of their gross marginalization, resulting in the formation of the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) in 1994 as a pressure group fighting for the restoration of Southern Cameroons independence.
But the Cameroon Government has outlawed the SCNC, labeling it as a terrorist group and thus prosecuting members.
The current crisis started when Anglophone teachers and lawyers staged public protests in late 2016 against perceived injustices by the Biya government but the latter rather resorted to repression after a failed dialogue.
Many fear that if the crisis, which has led to the deaths of many-both civilian and solidiers,is not quickly resolved as recommended by international organizations including the UN,it may sooner or later turn into a civil war between Francophones and Anlophones.