The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium is about protecting Southern Cameroons and improving the lives of its people. It is thanks to the careful management of the Consortium that we now have a beaming Head of State signing an empty decree to promote bilingualism. The leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium have been arrested for demanding a return to the 1961 two state federal structure.
Southern Cameroons covers a huge area on Cameroun’s west coast and billions of dollars of profit is being made from West Cameroon oil and agro-industrial plants but the people have been excluded from every economic benefit the nation can offer. Instead their well established economic institutions inherited from the British, the German and the Dutch which had sustained livelihoods have all been devastated by the Francophone political elites. The West Cameroon Shipping Company, the West Cameroon Ports Authority, the Tiko International Airport, the West Cameroon Power Authority, the West Cameroon Bank, the National Produce Marketing Board, the PAMOL Plantations, the CDC etc
The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium is simply calling for a more humane environment to live in and a measure of political autonomy for Anglophone Cameroonians to manage their own affairs. The 83 year-old Paul Biya and his Francophone army generals, Governors, SDOs and DOs are saying that asking for federalism is sacrilege. To the Francophone political elites, giving West Cameroon a share of their own wealth means reducing the profits that goes into their private pockets. Giving Southern Cameroons any form of federalism means questioning the exploitative colonial, political and economic structures bequeathed by the French. Such demands have to be brutally repressed.
The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium has deeply crafted what we can now call the Southern Cameroons Bill of Rights to Resistance and it has captured the economic, cultural and political aspirations of every West Cameroonian. To be sure, the Consortium has put an end to the North West/South West divide and provided a road map for a Southern Cameroons nation where people will have the right to control their own resources and political life. The leaders of the Consortium believe firmly that Southern Cameroons and its resources belong to the Cameroonian people, not the Francophone political elites.
The Southern Cameroons resistance is not against Biya and his CPDM crime syndicate. It is not against the so-called Anglophone political elites in Yaoundé! It is a call to action to the people of West Cameroon to reject the French imposition of a colonial structure such as the appointments of Governors, SDOs, DOs and District Heads. It is a call for Southern Cameroonians to seek political autonomy and to be represented in all Cameroonian institutions as English Speaking Cameroonians rather than in two regions dominated by the Francophone political elites.
This bold demand is not a direct threat to ELF as the Francophone political elites want the French to understand. The call for self determination is only growing due to the delay and bad faith manifested by the regime in Yaoundé. The French government has the power to stop these arrest and extra judicial killings going on in Southern Cameroons. They can stop it at any time if they want to; the French have that kind of power in Yaounde. But from every indication, the French embassy in Yaoundé is basically encouraging state violence against the people of Southern Cameroons.
The Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC and numerous Anglophone groups fighting for the independence of British Southern Cameroons should know that history often raises certain people over others, but the leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium have all been equal in this struggle and West Cameroonians have shown that they are a formidable force.
The repression in Southern Cameroons has not stop with the arrest of the leaders of the Consortium-the resistance too will not stop. The Francophone government has set up a fierce crack team of police officers and soldiers with the single duty of uprooting dissent. Military checkpoints have been erected all over Southern Cameroons and anyone suspected of being a member of the Consortium or SCNC is arrested and detained. Many of those arrested in 2016 have never been seen again. Women are being raped and properties looted. Those who can find their way out of Southern Cameroons are going into exile.
Southern Cameroons is the most deprived region in Cameroon. Schools in Ndian, Akwaya, Menchum, Bui and Fontem areas look like they belong in the 18th century. The roads are bad and medical care almost non-existent. The general hospitals in the divisional capitals can hardly be called a hospital. To have a minor medical procedure in places like Mamfe, Wum, Bali, Kumbo, Ndop Kumba, Ekok, Akwaya, Eyumojock, Njakiri people must provide their own power generator.
The government of La Republique and its French ally, ELF are thinking that if they killed the leaders of the Consortium and other Anglophone activists, the struggle would be over. It is not true as their blood will water the seeds of the revolution. The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium is teaching us to KNOW WHERE YOU STAND; how to take on the devil without losing your moral belief in the tools of nonviolence, the power of resistance and the power of people.
This is the plan of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium:
- 1. We continue keeping our children home to ensure that no school resume.
- 2. We continue observing Ghost towns on Mondays and Tuesdays
- 3. We prepare for the final destruction of 11th February by ensuring that on that day, it is very ghostly
All these actions are meant to ensure that the school year becomes blank which will soon happen, then the dynamics will change. It will also frustrate Government to call for a genuine dialogue as well as releasing our leaders unconditionally. Additionally, the Diaspora continues its pressure in foreign embassies.
The consortium is also putting and gathering a diplomatic push to some quarters as well as investing in media relationship especially foreign. The twitter strategy is also getting more foreign media involve in our case. Let us continue ensuring that schools remain closed, Ghost towns continue respectively, tweeting and preparing for 11th February boycott while diplomatic push continues in the background.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai
Cameroon Concord News Group