The Amabazonian Struggle – Part 2

As the Cameroon government struggled to put a stop to the “protests” it resorted to getting its anglophone members to dismissed the crisis with statements such as “There is no anglophone crisis”. Its other concurrent actions belied this attitude on the surface.

The anglophone prime minister set up an ad-hoc committee to “fact-find” in the anglophone regions, purportedly in order to resolve the “grievances”, which, other organs of the government were at pains to point out, were the common problems of all Cameroonians. This was a perverse way to show that the country was united in this crisis. “Everyone has the same problems” became a common phrase in exchanges, which tended to blame the anglophones for a lack of patriotic stoicism.

In spite of these denials the government tolerated the ad-hoc committee which set about discussions with the Consortium – the grouping of the two sectors of protesting trade unions and civil society in the anglophone regions. Though it was made clear that the meetings were only fact-finders to be “submitted to ministers for consideration”, it was more than the government had ever condescended to do before. The previous tactics of intimidation, arrests and beatings ran concurrently, presumably to empty the streets and show the Consortium that it had no support. The population was not fooled. Many voiced suspicion that the leaders of the consortium could be arrested and carted away once they were within the confines of governor’s residence where the meetings were scheduled to hold. Protesters turned up for each meeting to make sure such suspicions would not materialize.

The images of students and others being humiliated, for instance by being dragged in the mud; and other acts of brutality on campuses in Buea and Bamenda underlined the marginalization the initial protests had only hinted at.

It should be recalled that the initial lawyers strike was against the use of Francophone magistrates with no mastery of the Anglophone Common Law system, while the teachers’ unions were striking against the deployment of Francophone teachers with no English skills to teach in anglophone schools where children were following an anglophone curriculum. These two schemes clearly showed a determination by the Cameroon government to assimilate the anglophones and make Cameroon a francophone state. Indeed, many international organisations already considered Cameroon a francophone country, as anglophone students applying for courses in foreign universities were made to take English language tests as prerequisites. Other visible signs were the descriptions on media such as Facebook and Google where Cameroonian places were only labeled in french. Facebook accounts of Bamenda residents described their location as Nord Ouest, Cameroun and could not be customized into English.

Given the policy of assimilation, it was not surprising that the commission, being headed by anglophone functionaries, was only a stop-gap while the government decided what to do next, even considering the stated fact-finding status.

By the turn of the year, when the president was due to deliver his end of year speech, the government has resolved to up its repression. The Consortium was proscribed and its leaders arrested and transported away from the families to prisons in Yaounde.

The government, through the president’s speech floated the idea of dialogue but even that was clearly framed to be in the form of grace and favour dispensed by the government.  The government would not let it be said that it was negotiating with common citizens.

The Ambazonian Struggle -part 1

The current phase of the Ambazonian struggle started in earnest in October 2016 when the security forces of the Republic of Cameroon followed routine to “resolve” a protest by lawyers and teachers in the Anglophone regions of the country.

The routine was that the protesters would receive broken bones at the hands of the forces and return to their place in the pyramid. Occasionally this would be followed by one or two of the leaders of such protests being brought in through the benevolent and magnanimous patronage of the Head of State, or one of his ministers, on his “high instructions”. Yes, they do like to use this phrase to cover their actions! More often, there would be lessons, in the form of long stints in squalid detention conditions with few rights or any recourse to the law. This routine ensure an island of peace in the troubled region.

This time the routine did not work. Broken bones were less obvious than humiliation, but the widespread distribution of the images of the belittlement meted out to these two groups unexpectedly drew support and courage from the wider anglophone community. Clearly fed up with the routine ritual humiliation that had come to be expected towards anglophones from the francophone system and increasing from francophone functionaries, the population en masse rose to say “enough is enough”.

Big marches took place where the pent up resentment was vented openly. The resentment itself was no surprise, having been barely concealed over the years. The surprise was the scale and courage shown. Few would back down even after live rounds from the security forces resulted in several deaths in Bamenda. Even the brutalisation and humiliation of students in Buea and Bamenda did not quell the protests.  Incredible anecdotes of the humiliation of anglophones at the hands of the francophone hierarchy began to emerge and what may individually have seemed like the discrimination of individuals was revealed to be a systematic scheme. Images of the forces only galvanized the diaspora to denounce the injustice.

The government would not revise its routines, which had always worked.

Prayers from the Ground

This is an insight into the views of people living the “crisis”.

Dear friends in Christ Jesus good morning blessings. It’s another dawn. It’s another day. It’s another week. For us back home this week is full of anxiety and fear but Jesus Christ is in our boats, Amen.
Our focus this week is on the continent of Africa. All our faithful followers of morning Showers of blessings meditations in other parts of Africa we salute you. Whether you are in West, East, Central, North or Southern Africa, we send you very special fraternal greetings from us here in the troubled triangle nation of West Africa. We hope to hear from you soonest. Share this week’s meditations to your contacts who are in other parts of Africa so that they can get connected. I salute all those who are already connected. May God richly bless you.
Today we will talk about rest. Our text says God worked for six days and rested on the seventh day and then he made it Holy as sabbath consecrated to him. The original sabbath day was Saturday which was later on transferred to Sunday which was the resurrection Sunday. This is the day reserved by the Christian Church as a day of rest set aside to worship the Lord. In some pure African societies like those of us from the North West Region of our country, we have an additional day of rest called “Country Sunday”. On this day nobody is expected to go to the farm or pick up a matchet to cut anything in the name of work. Villagers are expected to rest and can do visitations. It’s unfortunately that we have another “Country Sunday” imposed on us every Monday as a result of this ongoing war in our country. Some people call it “Extended Sunday”. But it’s unfortunate that in such a day we can neither step out of our homes for the fear of bullets from the unknown. We have become perpetual prisoners in our own home town. We now have compulsory resting days. Night curfews have also been put in place which makes rest actively present in our country. WE ARE RESTING BY FORCE. Wonders shall never end.
But while these days of rest are imposed on us, what about those of you who are out of the current zone and in others countries. Some of you have to do two or three jobs just to survive or to be able to raise enough money for your families back home. Sometimes you sleep just about four or five hours out of the eight hours recommended by health experts. The scripture says that you need rest and that even God who created you also rested. Your body need rest to be able to function well. You need to feed the body that works the money. Take a vacation. Workers should ask and take their leave. Find time to relax and relate with your family and loved ones.
Can pastors go on leave? Should they rest? Can they really rest? When you call a pastor on phone and he/she says he is resting or on leave, what will easily be your reaction? Should I rest for one week or one month without sending you morning showers of blessings meditations as a way of resting?
I am just thinking aloud and about you resting and me resting as well. God will help us.
Let us pray.
PRAYER: Lord grant me internal rest from the pains of this life even when I am not able to rest from the physical but give me Grace to seek and to have both, in the name of Jesus Christ we have prayed Amen.

Ambazonia Anthem Lyrics

Hail Hail Hail
This land of Glory
We the Ambazonians
Pledge our Loyalty
Praise the son our saviour
Who granted us our Freedom?
Allegiance to the Heroes who
Bore the Land with their blood
Glory to Glory we rise
And never to fall
Here in our nation
Flowing with milk and honey
Glory, Glory
Glory to the father
For making you a Nation
A joy for evermore
Land of Freedom
You shall live in plenty
Meeting our needs
And your Children shall
Be Like the Stars above
The most High God Being
The watch Man of this
Nation (Repeat)

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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