AMBAZONIA, THE LAND OF FREEDOM
Despite the non-acknowledgement/denial of the Anglophone problem from Francophone government leaders,there exists a discontent by Anglophones, both young and old, as to how Anglophones are treated.This discontent presents itself in calls for federation or separation with movements that are gathering strength.At the core of Anglophone grievances is the loss of the former West Cameroons as a “distinct community defined by differences in official language and inherited colonial traditions of education, law, and public administration.”On 22 December 2016, in a letter to Paul Biya, the Anglophone Archbishops of Southern Cameroons defined the Anglophone problem as follows;
The failure of successive governments of Cameroon, since 1961, to respect and implement the articles of the Constitution that uphold and safeguard what British Southern Cameroons brought along to the Union in 1961.
The flagrant disregard for the Constitution, demonstrated by the dissolution of political parties and the formation of one political party in 1966, the sacking of Jua and the appointment of Muna in 1968 as the Prime Minister of West Cameroon, and other such acts judged by West Cameroonians to be unconstitutional and undemocratic.
The cavalier management of the 1972 Referendum which took out the foundational element (Federalism) of the 1961 Constitution.
The 1984 Law amending the Constitution, which gave the country the original East Cameroon name (The Republic of Cameroon) and thereby erased the identity of the West Cameroonians from the original union. West Cameroon, which had entered the union as an equal partner, effectively ceased to exist.
The deliberate and systematic erosion of the West Cameroon cultural identity which the 1961 Constitution sought to preserve and protect by providing for a bi-cultural federation.
Movements which advocate the separation of English-speaking Cameroon from French-speaking Cameroun exist, led by the Cameroon Action Group, the Southern Cameroons Youth League, the Southern Cameroons National Council, the Southern Cameroon Peoples Organization and the Ambazonia Movement.
Advocates of Federation wants a return to the constitution agreed upon in the 1961 Foumban Conference that acknowledges the history and culture of the two regions while giving equal power to the two.This federation had been dismantled on 20 May 1972 by the larger French-speaking Cameroon and extended the latter’s executive power throughout West Cameroon. Federation advocates include the instrumental Consortium of the leaders of three Cameroon-based trade unions: Lawyers, Teachers, and Transporters. It also includes some Cameroonians in the diaspora led by a well organized US-based Anglophone Action Group, Inc. (AAG). AAG was one of the first groups in the diaspora to endorse the Cameroon-based Consortium as a peaceful alternative to achieving a return to the pre-1972 federated system. Opponents of federation include the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement.
Terence Nyanga Manih
Scnc activist U.K.