Beti Ewondo political elites who owned and run private media houses in the nation’s capital Yaoundé have recently claimed that the oil fields of the Bakassi Peninsula were the reasons behind the demands of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. In one of the latest publication, the newspaper La Nouvelle said the leadership of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium had met and discussed oil deals with US oil companies based in Arizona.
The Francophone Beti Ewondo publication pointed out that separatists in the North West region feel more legitimate to negotiate with the American oil companies and secretly invited Barrister Harmony Bobga, a native of the region, and president of the North West Anglophone Lawyers Association to one of the petroleum forums in Arizona. The newspaper painted the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium leaders using President Biya own words as extremists. La Nouvelle added that the North West region wants to take control of the oil on the Bakassi peninsula, although it is located in the South West region.
Our chief intelligence officer in Yaoundé who is covering this new media war against Southern Cameroonians by the Beti Ewondo political elites revealed that the article was jointly worded by Ministers Fame Ndongo and Martin Belinga Eboutou. A Senior Anglophone political elite who spoke to us and sued for anonymity observed that “Ahidjo was a smart politician trying to balance development by assigning quarters to appointments and developments based on ethnic groups. That was his way of uniting the country. The Betis and the Ewondos way of taking everything and the spoils left to the rest of the country is unfortunate. That, the foolish majority in the West and Grand North cannot see this, is an abomination.”
Lawyers and teachers from the English-speaking part of Cameroon began a strike action in November 2016. This led to clashes with law enforcement officials. Several businesses and schools remained closed as tension keeps mounting in the Anglophone section of the country. Negotiations between the government and the much respected Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium were a failure. Prime Minister Philemon Yang made many trips and is yet to find a common ground with the leaders of the striking trade unions.
On January 17, 2017, René Emmanuel Sadi, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINATD), signed and issued a ministerial order banning the activities of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) and Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), the main civil society organizations in the English-speaking Regions of the country. The Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo regime followed the ban with arrests of Anglophone leaders. Consequently, Dr Fontem Neba, General Secretary of the Consortium, Barrister Agbor Balla and Lord Justice Ayah Paul Abine of the Supreme Court were all arrested and are currently being held in Francophone jails in Yaounde.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai