In Cameroon, a fight over colonial languages is dividing the country. The English-speaking regions of Cameroon have been protesting for months against the what they perceive to be the subjugation and marginalization of the people of Anglophone communities.
According to the Cameroonian constitution, both English and French are official languages with “the same status.” but Anglophones who make up about 20 percent of the country’s 20 million people, and live mostly in the country’s Southwest and Northwest Provinces feel they have been systematically removed from the centres of power, with customs and conventions making it impossible for them to hold certain key government positions. Since independence, no Anglophone has ever been a Minister of Defence, Finance, Education or even Foreign Affairs.
Cameroon’s president Paul Biya, who has ruled the country since 1982, rarely makes statements in English. Most official documents, public exams, and news from the state broadcaster are in French. Residents from English-speaking regions say they are excluded from civil service jobs.
Amongst some of their complaints are police brutalization and judicial suppression as Francophone Judges and administrators are often sent to manage court systems in English speaking regions without any knowledge of the language.
Economically, Anglophones say they feel exploited and that although Cameroon’s oil comes from the Southwest Province, the road network in the region has largely been abandoned.
This month, protests reached a new peak as residents of the Anglophone cities stayed home from work and school as part of a strike.
But what is most worrisome is the aftermath of mass protests in November and December. The clashes that occurred that left several dead, more than 100 missing, and an undisclosed number of protesters imprisoned.
It is in light of this that the Cameroonian women and their sympathisers have organised a march in Dusseldorf on the February 2017. All the information is on their flyer above.