Internal Strife, Armed Conflict Beclouds Cameroon National Day Celebrations
At every occasion marking the commemoration of the national day of the Republic of Cameroon, Ambassador Beng’Yela Augustine Gang and the Cameroonian people in Liberia will display images of projects the government of that country is implementing to benefit its citizens.
But now the joyous festivities that accompanied the Cameroonian National Day celebration seemed to be withering away due to insecurity engulfing that country.
At the Cameroonian independence day celebration on May 22, Ambassador Gang could not withhold his emotions, expressing regrets about the internal conflict currently confronting Cameroon coupled with attacks from Boko Haram.
According to him, President George Weah had made a call earlier on Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) urging Cameroonians to resolve the problem between government and the English-speaking people through dialogue and within a peaceful framework.
Instead of taking a peaceful trend, Ambassador Gang said, “regrettably, Cameroonians do not face the deep pain of our national security forces being compelled to quell internal armed dissidents at great cost in men and materials; the said prospect of self-inflicted erosion of its long reputation as a haven of mutual tolerance of its rich and complex diversities, a melting pot of diverse sub-cultures.”
Over the past year reports had emerged about government’s failure to allow English to be spoken in schools and courtrooms in the occupancy of Anglophone Cameroonians, thereby setting the pace for go-slow action on the part of teachers at one point in time.
The problem soon exacerbated early this year when government cracked down on the English-speaking Cameroonians, arresting and jailing some, while others were killed.
The conflict has forced thousands of Anglophone Cameroonians to refugee camps in Nigeria that was once in land conflict with Cameroon over the Bakassi Peninsula.
“Violence is also undermining our solid educational programs and systems; unacceptably enormous destruction of our administrative and economic installations, especially in the troubled regions, will collude with Boko Haram attacks in the far North Region to retard all Cameroonians, senselessly,” the ambassador said.
Amidst the situation, Ambassador Gang acknowledged that their West African neighbors and friends, including Nigeria and Liberia, continue to show solidarity as evidenced by the presence of some Nigerian troops to beef up the Cameroon military strength to combat the Boko Haram insurgency.
The cordial relations with other African countries, Ambassador Gang noted, has fruits of togetherness in fighting terrorism, socioeconomic development and curbing maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.
In order to prevent escalation of the unfolding internal conflict, Amb. Gang said the government has taken some measures, including restriction of information on social media.
Meanwhile, Liberian Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley in a congratulatory message to the people of Cameroon, recalled that the two countries have a common linkage besides being Sub-Saharan African countries.
He said Cameroon and Liberia are culturally tied together by the presence of one tribe in both countries. Findley: “Cameroon and Liberia have the Bassa tribe in their respective countries, and this is the tribe I belong to.”