The Anglophone Cameroon Predicament
248 Pages
English
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The Anglophone Cameroon Predicament

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248 Pages
English

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This study explores the predicament of Anglophone Cameroon � from the experiment in federation from 1961 to the political liberalisation struggles of the 1990s � to challenge claims of a successful post-independence Cameroonian integration process. Focusing on the perceptions and actions of people in the Anglophone region, Atanga argues that what has come to be called the �Anglophone Problem� constitutes one of the severest threats to the post-colonial nation-state project in Cameroon. As a linguistic and cultural minority, Anglophone Cameroonians realised that the Francophone-led state and government were keener in assimilation than in implementing the federal and bilingual nation agreed upon at reunification in 1960. Calls for national integration became simply a subterfuge for the assimilation of Anglophones by Francophones who dominated the state and government. The book details the various measures undertaken to exploit the Anglophone region�s economy and marginalise its people. Principally the economic structures meant to facilitate self-reliant development were undermined and destroyed. Institutionalised discrimination took the form of the exclusion of Anglophones from positions of real authority, and depriving the region of any meaningful development. With the advent of multi-party politics, most Anglophone Cameroonians increasingly have made vocal demands for a return to a federation, in order to adequately guarantee their rights and recognition for them as a political and cultural minority. Actively encouraged by France, the Francophone-led regime in Cameroon has refused to yield to such demands, despite the grave danger of violent conflict and possible secession.

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Published 25 August 2011
Reads 1
EAN13 9789956726608
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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The AnglophoneCameroon Predicament
Mufor Atanga
The Anglophone Cameroon Predicament Mufor Atanga
L a ng a a R esea rch & P u blishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.com www.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com
ISBN: 9956-717-11-8 ©Mufor Atanga 2011
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
Dedication
Time past and future Are in Time present Censure not
The progenitors of Our ignominious past.
To my daughters
Lum Anwi and Sifru And all the inheritors of our time present.
About This Book This study explores the fate of the former West Cameroon from 1961 until 1993 and its people in the Cameroon Republic. As a linguo-cultural minority, after reunification in the early 1960s, the Anglophones soon realised that the Francophone-led regime was not prepared to develop a federal and bilingual nation as had been agreed at reunification, but aimed at assimilating them. However, little was done by them to resist this. The calls for national integration and actions undertaken to realize it, as such, became simply a subterfuge for assimilation. Measures undertaken to exploit the region’s economy and marginalize its people took several forms. Principally the economic structures that were meant to facilitate auto-centred development were undermined and destroyed. Whilst the perception of institutionalised discrimination did not only manifest itself in the exclusion of Anglophones from positions of real authority, but also meant that the region was deprived of any meaningful development. Part of the problem stems from the instrumentalisation of the different languages, traditions and values legated to Cameroon by the former colonial powers, Britain and France, for political objectives. The two regions had agreed to form a single country on the basis of a federation. The abolition of the federation came to be part of the strategy for assimilation. With the advent of multi-party politics, most Anglophone Cameroonians increasingly have made vocal demands for a return to a federation, as they believe it is the only system that can adequately guarantee them their rights and equal opportunities. However, on the advice of France, the Francophone-led regime in Cameroon has refused to yield to such demands. As long as the demands of the Anglophones are not met, there is the grave danger of a violent conflict which might eventually lead to the break-up of the country.
Table of Content List of tables............................................................................................... v List of Figures........................................................................................... vi Selected Abbreviations.............................................................................. vii Acknowledgements..................................................................................... ix Foreword................................................................................................... xi Preface....................................................................................................... xvii Chapter One: General Introduction.................................................... 1The Problématique.................................................................................... 4 Significance of the Study............................................................................ 6 Scope.......................................................................................................... 6 Literature Review........................................................................................ 7 Theoretical Framework............................................................................... 11 Cultural Pluralism and Nation-Building..................................................... 11 The Federal System..................................................................................... 16 Political Pluralism, Integration and the Federal System.............................. 18 Federalism and Nation-Building................................................................ 20 Basic Propositions....................................................................................... 22 Methodology................................................................................................. 23 Organisation of the Work.......................................................................... 23 Notes and References................................................................................... 24 Chapter Two: Colonialism and the Development of Modern Political Institutions in the Cameroons........................................................... 27 Introduction.............................................................................................. 27 Historical Setting: The Colonization of the Cameroons............................. 27 The Consequences of the First World War to the Colonial Development of The Cameroons...................................................................................... 29 The Nature of British Colonialism and Its Influence in the Cameroons Development of Political and Administrative Institutions in the Cameroons................................................................................................. 30 The Nature 0f French Colonialism, and the Development of French Political and Administrative Institutions in the Cameroons..................... 35 Differences Between the French and British Approach to Colonialsim and Its Implications for Political Developments in the Cameroons............... 39 Constitutional Developments in the i
Southern Cameroons Before 1960.............................................................. 42 The Politics of Reunification.................................................................... 43 The Ibo Factor in Pre-Unification Southern Cameroons Politics............... 43 Party Politics and The Reunification Issue in the Southern Cameroons, 1957-196........................................................................................................... 44 The Foumban Conference and Its Implications for the Constituional Developmetn of the Southern Cameroons............................................... 48 Notes And References............................................................................... 50 Chapter Three: The Impact of Reunification on West Cameroon............................................................................. 53 The French Connection: Cameroon, the Neo-Colonial State Par Excellence the Constitutional Implications of the Foumban Conference for the State of West Cameroon.................................................................................... 53 The Erosion of Anglophone Autonomy: Party Politics and the Consolidation of Federal Authority in West Cameroon, 1961-1970................................................................................................. 63 The Formation of a Single National Party and the Demise of the State of West Cameroon.................................................................................... 73 The Abolitionn of the Federation, 1972.................................................. 75 The Socio-Cultural Impact of Reunification on the State of West Cameroon................................................................................................... 80 The Economic Impact of Reunification on the State of West Cameroon.......................................................................................... 89 Communications and Road Infrastructural Development and the Decline of the West Cameroon Economy.............................................................. 95 Notes And Refernces.................................................................................. 100 Chapter Four: The Failure of National Integration: An analysis of the Biya Regime, 1982-93.......................................................................... 109 The Nature of the State in Cameroon under Biya...................................... 109 President Biya and the Intensification of the Alienation of the Anglophones.............................................................................................. 111 The Biya Regime: Raised Hopes and Broken Promises............................. 114 Ethnicity and Regionalism in the Politics of the Biya Regime.............. 120 The Ministry of Defence............................................................................ 124 Presidency of The Republic......................................................................... 129
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The Mass-Media And Bi-Culturalism in Cameroon..................................... 129 The Development of Television in Cameroon.......................................... 130 Is The Television Audience Embarrased by the English Language?.......... 132 Television Programmes in the English Language..................................... 133 Distribution of Trasmission Time between French and English Language Programmes on Television........................................................................ 134 English Language Programmes on the Radio.......................................... 137 Multipartism, the Emergence of West Cameroon “Liberation” Movements, and the Implications of the October 11, 1992 Presidential Elections for the Stability of the State........................................................................ 139 Notes and References................................................................................ 145 Chapter Five: Summary and Conclusion........................................... 147 Summary.................................................................................................... 147 Findings...................................................................................................... 150 Recommendation........................................................................................ 155 Conclusion................................................................................................... 155 Appendices.......................................................................................... 159 Appendix I Constitutional Position of the Southern Cameroons in the Event of It Electing to Become Part of the Republic of Cameroon............................. 159 Appendix II Open Letter to All English-Speaking Parents of Cameroon from the English-Speaking Students of the North-West and South-West Provinces................................................................................ 163 Appendix III: The Buea Declaration of the All Anglophone Conference............................................................................. 173 Bibliography........................................................................................ 185
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