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Cameroonian Canadians galvanized by turmoil back home

Members of the young but growing community in Canada have staged small protests across Canada pleading for peace and calm amidst turmoil in Cameroon

Like other newcomers to Canada, Cameroonian Hippolyte Asah came here eight years ago for a better future.

Since November, members of the young but growing Cameroonian Canadian community have staged small rallies in Toronto, and also in Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal, hoping to draw attention to the conflict in their homeland. (SOUTHERN CAMEROONIAN TORONTO)
The Brampton IT analyst has kept a low profile and worked hard to establish himself in his adopted country, and did not picture himself hoisting protest signs in public, until recently.

As unrest deepens in his homeland amid rising tension between Cameroon’s English-speaking minorities and the governing francophone administration, Asah and his fellow Cameroonian Canadians have come together to plead with their compatriots for peace and calm.

Since November, members of the young but growing community — mostly anglophone in Ontario and francophone in Quebec — have staged small rallies in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal, hoping to draw attention to the worsening conflict under the regime of President Paul Biya, who has been in power for 35 years.

“The situation in Cameroon is getting worse by the day. The marginalization of the anglophone people has caused so much civil disturbances,” said Asah, 42, father of a boy and two girls, and one of the organizers in the community that numbers about 6,500 in the country, according to Statistics Canada.

“They feel like they are being colonized by the French. Lawyers and teachers (in English regions) go on protests and they are kicked, stoned, tear-gassed and manhandled.”

While the language divide has existed since the English-speaking Southern Cameroon and the French-speaking East Cameroon became one country in 1961 when they were decolonized by the British and French, the dictatorial regime’s recent attempt to expand the use of French in courts and schools has sparked widespread protests by language minorities.

According to media reports, in Bamenda, Cameroon’s largest anglophone city, at least four people were killed by security forces last month and local journalists have complained of a news blackout.

Like Asah, Destin Bujang, also comes from the English-speaking region in Cameroon and still has family back home.

“Acceptance is an issue for the anglophone. The government is forcing all these terms on the English community. There is no room for negotiation. People are getting angry because dialogues have not solved our differences,” said the 26-year-old former journalist, who moved to Toronto in 2012.

“There are no opportunities left for those speaking English staying in Cameroon. Those of us in Canada all know of somebody or are related to somebody back home. Very few of us are not affected by the problems there.”

With the news blackout, Bujang said the community here has been glued to their phones for information posted on social media by their compatriots in Cameroon.

“It’s just not a safe place to be,” noted Bujang, who said he attended an English university but courses were taught in French by francophone lecturers, who dominated the faculty and most institutions.

“Everyone in the world knows of President (Robert) Mugabe who has been in power in Zimbabwe for 37 years. In Cameroon, we have been under the same (type of) rule for 35 years.”

Cameroon officials in Ottawa blame the turmoil in the country on “political grievances and demands that are deemed to undermine the very constitutional foundations and unity of the state.”

“The government remains committed to seeking solutions to social problems through dialogues and peaceful means, even as it takes measures to restore law and order,” said Anu’a-Gheyle Solomon Azoh-Mbi, High Commissioner for the Republic of Cameroon in Ottawa, in a statement to the Star.

Youth activist Bertheline Nina Tchangoue, who grew up in the French part of Cameroon, said the language divide in Cameroon is clear as the francophone and anglophone communities hardly interact.

However, she said the problems go beyond language to the corrupt governance of the current regime.

“I am extremely disappointed by the regime in place. No word can even describe my level of disappointment. A peaceful demonstration has become a big issue. Citizens have been arrested, some raped and others killed,” said Tchangoue, 25, who has lived in Toronto for two years.

“Instead of dialogue, the regime has decided to use intimidation, torture and weapons on innocent citizens.”

Although Biya was endorsed by both the French and English parts of the country when he was first elected in 1982, Tchangoue said people feel betrayed when the regime continues to ignore the interests of those outside of his tribe.

“I left my family in Cameroon to come to Canada and I am so worried not only about them, but about all the compatriots from Southern Cameroon who have been tortured, arrested and killed by the armed forces,” said Tchangoue, who took part in two of the recent peaceful protests in Toronto.

“The struggle my compatriots from Southern Cameroon have started will benefit all Cameroonians in one way or the other.”

Toronto Star

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32 comments

  1. ATTENTION ATTENTION!!! URGENT URGENT!!!!!!!!

    ATANGA NJI PREPARES THE GENOCIDE

    Atanga Nji has setup a plan to send criminals and murderers from the BIR to infiltrate the anglophones strike movement in the north west and south west. Those murderers will kill Francophones in the north west and south west and destroy their homes and businesses and blame it on the peaceful Anglophones in the north west and south west. The government will then use it as a reason to send more military to the anglophone regions and carry out a cleansing. He also hopes that it will create a major problems between anglophones and francophones who have started siding with the anglophones against the government

  2. “They feel like they are being colonized by the French. ”
    What a stupid statement.
    No wonder no one in Canada will fke you seriously.

    • Shut the f……k up..Stupid .u will be surprised by the outcome of the strike.idiot

    • Ndzana Rutaganda aka Mbappe the Interhamwe Vice President- us Canadians are taking her seriously.

      Webmaster watch out for this Mbappe !diot before he sign you out for slaughter.

      Thumbs up to Lady Ponce for giving a minute of silence to West Cameroonians in her Paris concert yesterday. May the light of peace always shine your way.

      Aluta Continua

      • As a proud Canadian, you seem to be lost in your cause.
        If one is doing propaganda for some sort of war that will be you.
        You don’t see me roaming this medium talking about war or fight.
        My issue with you guys is the fake news you are attempting to feed to idiots and the dishonesty of your hidden agendas.
        Mark my words:
        – on Monday school resumes in your so-called ambazonia and I will say SW and NW regions.
        – the judge is not arrested and you guys keep making that arrest in your parallel universe.
        – your fake fight so doomed and has already failed.
        – there will never be a separate southern Cameroon.

        Now if you guys want to take the “system in Cameroon” down, be assured most Cameroonian are for that.
        You have to stop castigating a whole area as “whatever” because someone running the country is from that area.
        That is demagoguery and intellectual dishonesty.
        Will not not fly.

        • What is your problem little liar? Are you also saying that the atrocities being committed in Bamenda and buea are false? Where is the internet in this area? Are you not the twerp that recently lied uniforms and money meant for scnc was caught in Bambili? Do you think we will be hiding our money or uniforms from you? Do you in your arrogant mind understand we have our families under siege? Of course your people have ferried thugs from Ouest and littoral to our regions to be able to paint a shady picture tomorrow that school has started? Why am I even engaging this lump of excrement? Get the fcuk out!

        • @Mbappe,
          I took your word for what it is……worthless. I hope you read your “Cameroon Tribune” telling you that schools are back in full swing in Southern Cameroons. The Ghost Town is in full force, not a soul on the streets. How about that for your famous “mark my word”? This is beyond just a strike action, no, it is a cause, and because you refuse to learn and understand what these people are standing up for, you will always come here and say the things you are saying. Why? Because you lack empathy.

      • Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha………………………….AG na wechi this wuna di bring for this forum? You call Mbappe say RUTAGANDA……………………..Bro you go kill me……

    • They know they are being colonized because even the communique from the minister of secondary education was too much for him to translate to English asking children in NW/SW to return to Schools.
      Try getting services from SGBC bank in Bamenda, teller can’t speak English, no forms in English! One and indivisible bilingual is a myth on paper only. Anglophones know it anyone can deny nothing will change.
      ” A man knows he is a man, a woman can’t tell him he is not simply because she is not satisfied.”

    • Really ! Des bouffons. Apparemment ils font appel a leurs freres anglais exterminateurs du peuple indien. Vraiment ridicule d appeler des camerounais des francais et courir dmeander de l aide au celui qui pendant des siecles et jusqu aujour hui parle de l homme noir comme le petit enfant qui a toujours besoin d etre guider. En quoi etes vous different du rdpc.

      • Demander de l aide a ceux qui pendant des siecles jusqu a ce jour parlent de l homme noir comme l eternel enfant toujours a la recherche d un guide. Bande de toto

  3. MBIYA NA TIPMAN United States

    Lie lie we will Resist until our independence is restored simply because injustice has become law in Cameroon with an old and ailing ruler since 1982

  4. A_Blatant_Cameroonian Canada

    Well, what all this fuss is about ? I do not support what is going on in Cameroon neither I do stand for any Independence whatsoever pf the English speaking part. Instead of waging the flag of independence (which I strongly believe will never happen), they should work toward a better dialogue.
    They claim to be marginalized, but experience is showing me that ,we marginalize ourselves, the growing number regional associations is almost uncountable. They must stop that fullish noise and save their energy.

  5. @Mbappe…Now if you guys want to take the “system in Cameroon” down, be assured most Cameroonian are for that.
    GUYS HONESTLY I THINK THIS IS WHAT WILL MAKE MORE SENSE………………NO DIVIDING THE COUNTRY.
    WHAT SEEMS TO BE EVIDENT IS THAT THERE IS A NATIONAL PROBLEM.
    I DOUBT IF EVEN PEOPLE FROM MVOMEKA ARE WELL TREATED IN OUR COUNTRY.
    YOU HAVE A CLAN OF BANDITS WHO HAVE TAKEN IN HOSTAGE FOR THEIR GOOD AND FOR THE GOOD OF THEIR FAMILIES ALL INSTITUTIONS AND RESOURCES. I SINCERELY DO NOT THINK SOMEONE FROM EBOLOWA, BIPINDI, GAROUA BOULAI, OMBESSA, BATCHAM, YABASSI, MBE, MORA, OMBESSA etc…….CAN SAY HE IS BETTER TREATED THAN WE ANGLOPHONES. MORE THAN AN ANGLO_FRANCOPHONE PROBLEM, I THINK IT IS A NATIONAL PROBLEM. I WOULD HAVE WISH TO SEE EVERYONE INVESTING THE SAME RESOURCES AND PUTTING THE SAME DETERMINATION IN GETTING DOWN THE 35 YEARS OLD REGIME. AND WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BAMENDA ONLY SHOWS THAT THIS REGIME CAN TREMBLE IF PRESSURE IS PUT ON THEM. I MEAN THEY HAVE ALWAYS SO PEACEFUL BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT FOR THE LEAST THING, THEY PUT OUT BIR AND OTHER HUNGRY SOLDIERS OUT TO INTIMIDATE THE PEOPLE. BUT TO THEIR SURPRISE, THAT DOES NOT WORK ANYMORE, AND THEY ARE REALLY SURPRISED. PEOPLE ARE NOT INTIMIDATED ANYMORE. WE HAVE SEEN WILDER MEN THAN THE OLD GUY IN ETOUDI FALLING, WHICH MEANS THIS GUY CAN FALL TOO, BUT FOR THAT PEOPLE NEED TO COME TOGETHER. NOT KICKING HIM OUT AND HAVING A NATIONAL CHAOS. KICKING HIM OUT AND HAVING DEMOCRACY. BUT CANNOT HAPPEN IF WE START DIVIDING THE COUNTRY. TOGETHER WE CAN BE VICTORIOUS. BUT DIVISION REMAINS THE RECIPE FOR FAILURE.
    AND SO HURRAY TO ALL THOSE WHO THINK WE WILL OVERCOME, INDEED WE WILL…BUT NOT AS ANGLOPHONE OR FRANCOPHONES BUT AS CAMEROONIANS.
    WHEN MY POLITICAL SCIENCE STUDENT ASK ME WHO I AM, I DO NOT DEFINE MYSELF AS AN ANGLOPHONE, BUT AS A CAMEROONIAN. AND WHEN THEY GO FURTHER IN TRYING TO KNOW WHERE PRECISELY, I SAY I AM FOR MANKON. EVEN THOUGH I WAS BORN IN KRIBI, GREW UP THERE AND EXPRESS MYSELF EVEN BETTER IN FRENCH THAT ANY OTHER LANGUAGE.
    IT IS NOT MY INTENTION TO HURT ANYONE’S FEELINGS OR TO SCORN ANYONE’S CONVICTIONS, MY INTENT IS JUST TO EXPLORE MORE CONSTRUCTIVE WAYS TO ADDRESS OUR NATIONAL (NOT REGIONAL PROBLEM).

    • Cameroon: Outspoken opposition MP Wirba Joseph has been arrested by regime forces

      Monday, Jan 23 2017
      West Cameroon’s most adorable MP Honorable Joseph Wirba has been arrested by Paul Biya’s gangster regime. The arrest took place without his parliamentary immunity being lifted. It is also said that other judges have been arrested in the Anglophone Zone.Unconfirmed reports say Ni John Fru Ndi is also one of the next in line to be put behind bars. Things are beginning to fall apart for the regime.

      It is clear that the end of the evil regime is near as not even francophone ministers are trusted anymore. There are plans to arrest some of them too. Stay connected as we shall be briefing you more on this breaking story.

      Concord Newsdesk

      STILL THINK THIS IS AN ENTIRE CAMEROON PROBLEM THEN GET YOUR PEOPLE TO WAKE UP!

    • When the majority feel pain they will rise on their schedule, let the minority who are being asphyxiated fight for their oxygen.
      Not every slave wants to be free, but some slaves would rather die trying to be free than remain slaves for life.
      This is not a Cameroonian problem had it been so the entire nation would have been on the same wavelength. The fact that the local media now by government decree labels any and every anglophone who talks about this problem as a terrorist, extremist, secessionist, federalist etc and by default carries out mass arrest in the night of innocent civilians tells us that west Cameroonians are being targeted for eventual genocide. When the strong majority can’t protect the weak minority then the fabric of nationhood crumbles.
      They are spilling the blood of west Cameroonians and it will not be in vain, we will live in peace or in pieces. Who has the weapons of war? The state or the people of West Cameroon?

    • I really like this one. thank you

    • Maindrault this is what Mbappe and many others are trying to say here malheuresement y a pas plus aveugle que celui qui refuse de voir. IL faut vraiment etre un abruti pour croire a l independance du sud ouest ou croire que les ressortissants du sud ouest sont plus marginalises que d autres camerounais. Le combat devait etre d abord pour le changement ,en1988 et 90 nous avons vu ce que c etait la force de l unite. Mais jusqu aujourd hui je pense que beaucoup qui parlent de secession sont les agents divertisseurs du rdpc pour creer cette division qui ne profite qu a Biya. Et pour les perdus defendre l unite est synonyme de soutient a Biya comme si ce pays appartenait s appelait Paul B. Je suis 100/100 du sud ouest fier de l etre mais surtout fier d etre Camerounais. On peut avoir mille doki mais pays na pays pour nous . La colonisation est l une des raisons meme pourquoi on avance pas alors je ne vois pas comment je peux m identifier a cette identite honteuse. Rien ne changera sans une force commune. AG , epee vous etes des agents de Biya . Biya most go c est un idealiste emotif j espere qu il rejoindra un parti politique pour un combat possible lui aumoins est vrai. AG that ya gass gass mouth you go be exposed soon boutman.

  6. 600 taxis have been sent to SW to obstruct the ghost town on Monday and Tuesday. The taxis will be running buea- mutengene and limbe to fool the population the strike has been called off.This is also to provoke the population to retaliate so that they can carry out their genocide deal on them. The drivers have been instructed to instigate the strike topic in the car once u say anything in support of the strike the car will carry u to an unknown destination and only God knows what will happen to u.pls call family members in the SW to let them know this.They should stay indoors and avoid any provocation from the military so more lives will not be taken.Pls forward to save lives in the SW and if possible called your love ones to save them

  7. After Gambia, Cameroonian Dictator, Paul Biya, Turns Country Into Banana Republic
    He has sent policemen and soldiers to shoot at protesters in the Southwest and Northwest and ordered the arrest of a Supreme Court judge in Yaounde on Saturday night without any warrant of arrest. He has banned protests and curtailed the freedom of association and of speech. He is known for spending months abroad relaxing in luxury hotels while his countrymen struggle at home. He is accountable to no one but himself.

    By TheSimonAtebaNews, Washington DC – January 22, 2017

    By Simon Ateba/Lagos

    Cameroonian dictator, Paul Biya, who has been in power for 35 years since 1982, has turned his terribly underdeveloped country into another banana republic in Africa.

    He has sent policemen and soldiers to shoot at protesters in the Southwest and Northwest and ordered the arrest of a Supreme Court judge in Yaounde on Saturday night without any warrant of arrest. He has banned protests and curtailed the freedom of association and of speech. He is known for spending months abroad relaxing in luxury hotels while his countrymen struggle at home with empty stomachs. He is accountable to no one but himself, and maybe Paris.

    At almost 83 years old, Mr. Biya and his cabal have grown increasingly uncomfortable, especially, with developments in Ghana and Gambia, where sitting Presidents were defeated in the last presidential elections and had to go.

    In the Northwest and Southwest, where residents are mainly English speakers, protests went on for months by lawyers and lecturers demanding justice and equality in a country where President Biya has spoken French for more than three decades and Anglophones feel left behind in many economic and political areas in Cameroon.

    Mr. Biya reacted by sending trucks of policemen and soldiers to shoot at and suppress the protesters. Many were arrested, including students who were bundled into dirty trucks and sent to various tribunals for phony judgments.

    If Angophones feel marginalised by the Biya government, the situation is not any better in any part of Cameroon. In the far north where Boko Haram has been bombing, shooting and killing for years, Mr. Biya has not visited to comfort the citizens or encourage soldiers fighting and dying in ambushes. And when the corpses of 38 killed soldiers were brought to Yaounde for burial, Mr. Biya did not even attend the event.

    The level of poverty in the north is so appalling that most people are now used to living in squalor and hunger and do not know any other way. It is the same situation in the eastern part of the country where basic infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and electricity are rare to find.

    Even in the capital, Yaounde, the underdevelopment and unemployment are palpable everywhere. Dusty roads and scattered houses in an unplanned city can be seen here and there.

    The entire country is in a state of chaos where basic laws are not respected and protests are met with excessive force.

    The international community should call the despotic leader to order and not allow him go down with the entire country in flames.

    Simon Ateba is the publisher of TheSimonAtebaNews.

  8. Lady Lum, you shortened my reation. Thanks very much. Your metaphors are clear to any right thinking mind. I still to ask people who claim this is a national problem. Wherefor is the majority struck with defeaning silence except to desolidarize from anglous? It is now clear who is breaking the law with a defined agenda.
    First a Supreme court Judge is arrested in ways contravning the laws of the state, next we are getting unconfoirmed news of the arrest of a Member of Parliament whose immunity is no news even to primary school kids.I feel sad when someone tries to lecture a mob .
    @Mbappe, some of those excesses you quote are normal in mob action especially when people from your areass like Owona son treat anglos (someone supposed and thought to be an opinion stakeholder) with derogatory smirks, people are bound to levy the whole tribe. I know you know this. That is not what some clear minded patriot will see. He will stick to the causes and not the side effects. You know the trible diatribe is due to falsification of the struggle. Have you never heard your father say, “pour ce crime je vais te tuer?” Is it literary applicable, what he says?
    Anyone who says the whole country is suffering and sits on the fence should just shut-up and leave the anglofous search for their paradise.
    Good luck and we shall prevail. The truth shall set us free!

  9. It is time we start to name and shame the so called elites of the Southwest and Northwest Regions. All those CPDM and SDF Members of Paliament and Senators. All current and former prime ministers, ministers, secretaries of state and director generals and governors. Where are the voices of Mafany Musonge, Achidi Achu, Mbella Moki, Gladys Ikome, Mbah Ndam and so on. Use your platforms and raise your voices. Let prosperity be your judge!

  10. @Weeping, if it finally happens that Hon Wirba is arrested, I will have my eyes turned on Mbah-Ndam. That will/is supposed to be his moment. The turning point in the history of this fight.If he doesn’t breath lighting and thunder in the old handclapping house opposite the Lycee Leclerc. That would be the moment to hear all MPs, be they from the C or S to call a spade a spade.
    Any time I think of Biya, I think of Macbeth. Someone who is praised and welcomed with pomp, trumpets, and what have you, along the line his vaulting ambition starts changing him into a demon till he gets his demise. Po Mbia started by jailing his closest aid Prof Edzoa(Banquo) after murdering his wife. He starts being afraid of his own shadow. Murders Rev, Sisters, Rev Fathers. Murders the boyfriend of his new wife, His close aides are all in Kondengui, (Donalbin, and brother, Macduff) The last moment those near him pay him but lip service. (the thane Macduff tells Malcom in England) He is in fact alone because his kids and wife are becoming rebellous and part of the country has risen and have good men (the Thanes) supporting Malcom the King to be. Po Mbia, wither shall you flee?????????????????????

  11. The real battle is at home ,le chien aboie la caravane passe !

  12. Dear cc.

    My Title;The symbolic solution to the Anglophone problem

    The start of this crisis is based on the disproportionate attention that the English citizens of this nation receive. It is with deep feelings that i write about the prevailing situation in
    English Cameroon. I will like to address the symbolic identity of this
    conflict. The English man has been forced to the backside of living and building
    this nation and this is indeed sad as it is painful.
    I suggest that Cameroon should have two capitals (with one a vice capital)
    and the president and vice(franco and anglo) celebrate the two national days
    simultaneously one year after another.

    When we celebrate the west Cameroon
    indep day in bda, next year we do the french in Yaounde) we don’t need this
    20th may. Let the flag of two stars come back.
    In English Cameroon and french Cameroon.
    If the french man decides to maintain strong ties with France, he should
    arrange to have the anglophone also stay glued to their colonial roots.
    That’s fairness. Everyone thinks it is time colonial roots be completely destroyed. The English have no business with the French on this note. They are forced by their own “brother” into this unfair friendship. This is his worst betrayal. The anglophone sees and hates the french mentality driven
    politics of this country. The president of a country with this kind of particularities must and should have open minded advisers. Not people who keep trying to cover up things that rather need to be promoted for the common good and for posterity. Our history must be lived to the full.

    Any how we intend to solve these problems, the symbolic solutions must come first otherwise there will be no solutions.

    ENGLISH CULTURE MUST LIGHT UP THE FOREFRONT OF THE CAMEROON IMAGE; IT MUST BE GIVEN THE HIGHEST AUDIENCE IN THE ASSEMBLING OF CAMEROONIANS OF BOTH EXPRESSIONS;

    • As we speak Paul Biya is making plans to invite the pope. We will do everything to contact the Vatican and let them know that Biya tactics of trying to bribe even the divine will not work this time! We all know about Francis’ Option for the poor! Any response to the invite of this brutal dictator will be genocidal. Knowing who the Argentinian pontiff is, we know this will not materialize!

  13. Biya est TROP BON. Etre au Canada & dire que des gens qui ont brulés (établissement publiques, voitures & macadam), terrorisés des populations, incités à la haine & surtout BATTUS DES ELEVES EN TUNUE (où est l‘UNICEF?) SONT APPELES INNOCENTS.
    @ BOBJAH
    Tu perds ton temps à raisonner avec eux. Ils ont toujours aidé Biya à mal gérer afin d‘avoir une raison de diviser le pays.
    Si j‘étais Biya, j‘aurais déjà sacrifié quelques enfants francos & brulé quelques maisons. A la guerre comme à la guerre. N‘EST CE PAS CE QU‘ILS VEULENT? CHACUN CHERCHE A AVOIR RAISON DEVANT LE MONDE.

  14. With the military so much behind him, bloodthirsty dictator President Biya will not leave by his own accord. Someone must do a “Desire Kabila” on him or the lawyers could bring a case in the International Court of Justice against him, the minister of territorial administration, his top generals for BIR and the police. Paul Biya is afraid of someone confiscating his loot. That will make him and his henchmen sit up and think!

  15. Aratatarakura Germany

    What a crooked government;
    After the atrocities in Nw and Sw regions, instead of regretting , apologising and seeking sincere dialogue, you only focus on continues bribing and forcing children to school.
    Na Nyongo school???
    Mr Government or…. ;
    even if you continue bribing, you can never bribe all the people.
    STOP WAISTING YOUR TIME

    FREE OUR PEOPLE
    FREE OUR REGION
    PACK OUT OF OUR COUNRY
    GO IN PEACE: