The Anglophone problem, which has intensified since last October with the paralysis of the North-West and South West Regions on the backdrop of federalist claims, even secessionist, is the consequence of a colonial legacy and a failure of the “centralist project” pursued by the power of Yaoundé, according to the terms of a report published Wednesday by the NGO, International Crisis Group.
The current crisis, with its political, economic and social dimensions, has amplified exponentially the demand by the majority of the population seeking federalism and dissolution, a configuration that illustrates how profound the Anglophone problem is.
The Anglophone problem, as analyzed by this NGO, plunges its roots into a poorly conducted reunification, based on a centralist and Assimilationist project as well as an economic and administrative marginalization in addition to the ambitions and the personal and ethnic rivalries of elites that have not always been able to make a common front to defend an increasingly heterogeneous cause.
Taking advantage of the situation, secessionist groups have multiplied since January to radicalize the population with the support of a part of the Anglophone Diaspora.
“If the risk of partitioning the country is very low, that of a medium-term resurgence of the problem in the form of armed violence is high, because some of these groups now call for violence.”
Contrary to a widespread idea, International Crisis Group believes that the English-speaking Diaspora has not driven this crisis, contrary to previous challenges, since its role became paramount only after the arrest of the Civil society Consortium officials on 17 January 2017.
Unfortunately the government measures, taken since March, are late and have had little effect, the international community’s response was rather limited, although they had enabled them to adopt the said measures: “Without a firm, persistent and coordinated pressure from the international partners in Cameroon, it is unlikely that the government will move towards substantive solutions.”
For International Crisis Group, which also reports at least three deaths and dozens of arrests recorded, the resolution of the Anglophone problem goes through a firmer international response and the restoration of confidence, through coherent appeasement measures that respond to the demands of the lawyers ‘ and teachers ‘ guilds, causing the malaise.