Thursday, 20 April 2017

Cameroon: Anglophone Crisis Does Not Falter - A MUST READ

On Monday, 10 April, the Bar of the Bar Association of Cameroon called for a lifting of the strike of English-speaking lawyers. An invitation that was not unanimous. This protest, launched in October, is at the root of the current crisis in the English-speaking regions of the country.


On April 10, Mr. Jackson Ngnie Kamga, President of the Bar Association of Cameroon, announced the strike of English-speaking lawyers and resumption of activities for May 2. This statement comes a few weeks after the announcement of measures taken by the government, at the end of March, to satisfy the strikers. Some of them welcomed the progress made by the central government, but the president's statement does not satisfy all the protagonists.

According to the online information site Koaci, Eyambe Elias Ebai, president of the law firm of Meme (South-West) and Harmony Bobga, leader of the lawyers of the Northwest, signed a statement in Which they reject the call of the president to stop the movement.
Cameroon: Anglophone Crisis Does Not Falter - A MUST READ
We are ready to work, but our colleagues must be released.

According to them, the latter does not have "competence to call at the end of a strike of which he is not the initiator". For Ruth Leyuga, a lawyer from the Southwest, the conditions for a return to normal are not present at the moment. "We are ready to work, but our colleagues must be freed," she told Jeune Afrique . We do not have the Internet, we are cut off from the world, many things are not going. "Ruth Leyuga is a member of the Fako Lawyers Association (Fakla), whose president, Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla, was arrested on 17 January.

The length of the strike and the reluctance of some actors to resume work highlight the tensions that remain between Anglophones and Yaoundé. Back in three key dates on a conflict that has lasted six months:
October 11, 2016: the lawyers, spearhead of the protest

On October 11, 2016, English-speaking lawyers in the northwest and southwest of Cameroon launched the protest movement by striking a strike.

The dressed men of both regions regret the absence of English law in Cameroon's judicial system. They reject the Francophone Civil Code and advocate recognition of Common Law in the jurisdictions of their regions.
21 November 2016: the conflict is widespread

On 21 November, the teachers, who denounced the "francophonisation of the Anglo-Saxon education system in Cameroon" , began their strike. Bamenda, capital of the North-West region, became the hotbed of protest. The conflict is on the rise. Undermined by unemployment, Anglophone Cameroon feels abandoned by the central government and demands more involvement from the government.

Gradually, federalist tendencies are grafted on to social demands; Voices are raised in favor of a partition of Cameroon. In the streets, clashes between demonstrators and the forces of order are multiplying. Negotiations were initiated by the authorities, but Yaoundé also made numerous arrests. Among those arrested are lawyers such as Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla.
January 17, 2017: #Bringbackourinternet

Cameroon sinks a bit more into the crisis on January 17, when the government decides to deprive the Northwest and the Southwest of the Internet. On the spot, the consequences are very quickly felt. Without the Internet, Buea, baptized "Silicon Mountain" because of the large number of start-ups that it hosts, is severely penalized. More generally, the NGO Internet without frontiers estimates that in 60 days, the cut has lost 2.69 million euros to the Cameroonian economy.

On Twitter, the #Bringbackourinterne hashtag is used by Internet users in reaction to the power cut by the central government. Two months later, the campaign continues on social networks, with Anglophone Cameroon still in a network shortage. A situation that is worrying internationally. On 13 April, François Louncény Fall, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa, called on the Cameroonian authorities to resolve this crisis as soon as possible
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