Home / English / How will Cameroon fix its language divide? [+video]

How will Cameroon fix its language divide? [+video]

Secession has been the talk of the week, from the Kurdish region of Iraq to Catalonia in Spain.

And on Sunday, English-speaking parts of Cameroon joined the trend by demanding their own independence.

Police shot and killed at least eight people in the western regions of the country. The rallies took place on the very day Cameroon’s English and French regions had united 56 years earlier.

There have been similar protests for almost a year now, but until recently they only had called for reforms.

Cameroons’s English-speaking minority say they are being marginalised by the French-speaking majority.

So, what does this unrest mean for Cameroon’s unity?

Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam


Hans de Marie Heungoup – Cameroon analyst, International Crisis Group

Albert Nchinda – Political blogger focusing on Cameroon

Michael Amoah – Associate, Africa International Affairs Programme at the London School of Economics

Source: Al Jazeera News

Check Also

South West – Elite Mobilised for Dialogue Crusade

They held a closed-door conclave at the Regional Governor’s Office yesterday morning The political elite …


  1. Sparrow Hawk

    The unrest means that Anglophones don’t want the so-called ‘unity’ with murderers any more. Francofools headed by blood thirsty biya have proven that the lives of Anglophones aren’t important to them. We want OUT. The UN should organize a legitimate referendum for us to decide our destiny. The UN should also stop politicizing the fate and lives of a people. They contributed immensely to all this menace. Unity is never by force. NATO forces should have better killed Paul Biya than Muanmar Gaddafi. A foolish president whose opinion is a law and who ignores tabled problems by professionals calling them names, locking them up and even killing some of them… You call suck vamp a human. Biya, you will rot in hell.

    • Such a referendum will involve the entire nation of Cameroon. Those that split Kamerun into two without a referendum know that all too well. Be careful what you wish for… and stop sending poor children on the streets to be slaughtered in vain.

      • How can the fate of Anglophones in a referendum include the entire nation my friend? It’s like having an enemy and asking him to help u solve a problem. Does that make any sense? U know the outcome.
        Francophones are comfortable with the status quo so they don’t need to b part of anglophone problems which they don’t even seem to understand and think it’s a language problem. It’s deeper than that

      • What are you on about my man? Please help me understand why such a referendum must include all and sundry. If you are current with world events then you might want to educate yourself with the fact that the Scottish referendum is not for the entire U.K., the rest of Spain cld not participate in the Catalan referendum nor the entire Iraq in the Kurdish. Quebec referendum was not for the entire Canada either. Don’t confuse yourself with the Brexit events. It is lies, deceit and dulplicity like the one you are singing that has left the country is such a state of disrepair. Why must you francophones always demonstrate such bad faith? It’s is the same position Ahidjo held before the Foumban conference and during the fake 1972 “Oui” /”Yes” referendum. Pure banality. You are so left far behind.

        • 1. There was no referendum when Kamerun was split. Thus, the forcible split occurred without the consent of the people of Kamerun.

          2. Before you can talk of a so-called Anglophone/Francophone dichotomy, there was one single political unit.

          3. Catalan referendum is for the Catalan people. The Scottish referendum is for the Scottish people. The Kurdish referendum is for the Kurdish people. The Quebec referendum is for the French people. The so-called Anglophone referendum would be for which people?

          4. The Spanish government’s response to the Catalan referendum should bring you out of the dark hole.

          5. 1972 OUI/YES referendum involved ‘Anglophone intellectuals’ like Nsokkika Fonlon (PhD), and many others who were proficient in French. Yet, the voting went on with no protest!

          Good luck!

        • @Ras Tuge

          It’s clear you already have a preconceived position and I am just wasting my precious time with you. There shall be a referendum for Southern Cameroonians to decide their fate and every other single creature walking the forests and slumps of LRC shall be prohibited from participating in such a referendum. Mark my words. If there’s one time any thing is going to be done right then it’s during this referendum. You fellas can continue your corruption rot on your own. Bad faith has reached its limit.

      • Fool.where did you go to School man…How can a Referendum include an entire Nation…You shall see..Only People of the southern cameroon shall be allowed to vote.

        God is in Control….Banga smoker.

        • ‘How can a referendum include an entire nation’???!!!! Is this a question from an individual that ever went to school? You know what a referendum is about? What a pity!

      • `… and stop sending poor children on the streets to be slaughtered in vain`.

        a. Why are they poor children in their supposed country?
        b. Who made it so?
        c. Why is it a bad thing, to liberate them?
        d. Do you sir, like your other lrc compatriots, have a soul?
        e. Why is it that you can not now change your wicked heart?

      • @Ras Tuge, What would be the purpose of a referendum if the 80% Francophone majority have to determine the future of Anglophones (20%) in their own country? Did Francophones vote in 1961? Didn’t LRC’s francophones already vote when their president quit the federation via Restorationist Law 84/01 in 1984?

        UN Resolution 1541(xv) permits native BSC people to vote exclusively, bars LRC from any interference. No votes in England or Wales when Scotland voted to determine its future. No vote outside Quebec when the latter voted three times in the last Century to determine its future and no votes in Northern Sudan when the South voted to quit!

        • Quebec, South Sudan, Scotland as i indicated above do not share the experiences and structure of Cameroon. Like i said above, Kamerun was split without the consent of the people. So what exactly is your justification for a referendum that would exclude the so-called Francophones from deciding the fate of their ancestral heritage?

          This explains why your secessionist fantasies will remain fictional. The referendum will be about how to reinvent the state of Cameroon. You might not like it but that’s exactly how it is going to be.

          You quote UN Resolution 1541 that permits ‘NATIVE BRITISH SOUTHERN CAMEROONS PEOPLE’ to vote exclusively! How can Africans become BRITISH NATIVES? ANGLOPHONE NATIVE?!!! Pitiful and shame on you!

      • Let us dwell a bit on the key word “split”. Note that there are two splits – the N/S(Ahidjo) and the E/W(UN). This past week’s defiant uprising across the NW/SW divide must mean something totally absent in an East/West divide clear enough even for a grade school pupil to see.

      • Raa tube.why include the whole country?Anglophones are not the whole country.that’s how you guys tiko drink kumba drunk.we always work for you people to eat.we at dying and you want to benefit from the out come shame on you. GCE board angloohones were killed and today u guys are enjoying it.enough is enough we don’t want to liv e with u guys.my maternal grand parents are Franco’s but bros Adieus

    • @Sparrow Hawk,
      Stop telling bullshit and educate yourself. How can francophons be responsible of the acts perpatrated by Biya? Most of francophons support you a lot in that struggle. I remind to your short memory that francophons lawyers continue to defend anglophons who are still in prison.
      For your info, more than 500000 bamileke and bassa had been killed by ahidjo regime between 1959-1971 and none of your anglophon leaders at that time shown concerns and support to that people.

      • In fact, the so-called Anglophone leaders actually enabled the slaughter of the ‘macquizards’ that had taken refuge in Kumba. Many of those folks were arrested in Kumba and handed over to Ahidjo to be killed!

      • @mbita cola you have said it all. I wonder how people like you kept quiet since? there are very few people who can understand your opinions anyway thanks for enlightening ignorant.

  2. There is no such thing as a “language issue” in Kamerun at least for what concerns French vs English.
    There is issues with poverty, lack of jobs, etc. These issues concern all Kamerunians.
    English so called issue is being used by some to manipulate others imbeciles.
    There is a system in place in Kamerun that does not benefit all Kamerunians, that system does not benefit most so-called Anglos as most so-called francos.
    The system in place is for certain elite and people from all tribes are part of that corrupt elite.
    If someone believe the problem is outside this corrupt “elite”, please you will have to elaborate as to have a healthy debate instead of what has been happening on this forum.

    • Have the courage to call a spade a spade, its about two different people , two different cultures, two different heritage, two different History, two different territories two different way of looking into the future of course two different languages as well and way beyond that

      • What heritage?!!! You are fighting to uphold a European heritage, and wonder why the entire universe looks upon you as a man with absolutely no value!

        You chant Common law; Civil law; Anglo-saxon education system; CFA… and all what not, and expect to be respected on earth! When will you ever stand up like a real man and create agencies that are based on your own value system? Folks like you are exactly the reason why other races looks at Africans as mentally inferior people. What a pity!

        • You must be parting yourself on the back thinking you have said something amazing. You have attacked others here for not being intellectuals enough. What branch of African knowledge are you an intellectual in? You once swore here that Biya was the one to put an end to the French Empire in Africa, why not apologize to your people for such lies. Now that the French system is still there, what have you done about it? You live in Sweden, yet you want to create agencies that are based on your value systems. Which have you created so far?

        • @Ras Tuge you really deserve Biya as president my man. Are you going to do all the foresight from Sweden? You have no element of shame at all. I once read your hateful posts on here attacking Ngraffis for the insurrection. What sayeth thou to see Ebonji, Bangem, Nyassoso, Nyandong, Tombel and the entire Muanenguba rise up to speak one voice against repression? What became of the vigilante you purported was formed to counter the strike? The truth will always remain the truth no matter how much you folks struggle to distort it. Likewise, a lie will always remain a lie no matter how much it is beautifully quoted.

        • Ras Tuge, why don’t you write here in your dialect? The common law system has been absorbed in most countries because it makes sense. We can also use it in LRC! Is there any need to reinvent the wheel? Why doesn’t Ras Tuge develop his own computer since Charles Babbage was British? We do not need hypocrisy here!

      • …. and two different national anthems.

      • @Rob, What are called two different pipo. So for you, a bamileke is more closed from an hausa who live in far north than an anglophon from the north west with whom we share the same culture, the same history (anglophons from bamenda and bamileke are decent of tikars as you shut down your brain to ignore that fact) , the same mother language (yes english is not your mother language) , the same faciès , just because , the ancestors of this bamileke has experienced the same colonization system than the ancestor of the hausa. So , continuing your logic, as your ancestors have been colonized by GB, you share the same history than ghaneans and you are close to them. Look how bizarre and infant is your reflexion.

        • Keep quiet ntongtouh man, NWesterners are nothing like Bamileke. Have you seen them digging up the skulls of their ancestors like you do? nonsense talk.

      • @ Rob you are very right. South West and North West people are completely two different group of people. Their culture and native languages are completely different. The only thing they have in common is they speak the Queen of England’s language called English. There is no way these two people can form a nation together when they don’t even have a common culture and even look different. They will surely end up like the American created South Sudan fighting and killing each other. I can understand the SW and Littoral people calling themselves one or the NW and Western people calling themselves one. It’s hard to find any similarities between the NW and SW people. Culture is what determines peoples origin and not some foreign language imposed on them by their colonial master.

        • In propouning your famous thesis, remember that NW and SW were products of President Ahidjo’s decree!

        • You put it in very simple words for all to GET IT.
          I have been making this point for a long time.
          English language/culture foolishness

  3. More than 15 of our people were slaughtered by lrc and we will never forgive them for that.I am one of those that had advocated for causing no harm to those lrc citizens living in our regions, but after sunday i now stand firmly with those who say they should leave.
    Issa chiroma talked of shedding our blood and it’s been done much to his happiness,that of lrc and colonial administrators like okalai bilai and lele l’afrique.after all should there be any call for concern when dogs are slaughtered?
    May the souls of our dear brothers and sisters that were gunned down on sunday rest in peace.their blood will be upon us should we hand back our nation to lrc.long live Ambazonia.

  4. AmbaRestoration

    We have no options left now. No need arguing with citizens of a foreign country.. They know too well the southern Cameroons is a colony they do not want to let go. There is no Union treaty between the La Republique du Cameroun and Southern Cameroons. The Reason La Republique has not annexed Gabon, Congo, Central Africa and Nigeria to reestablish KAMERUN is because all these countries got armies and could defend themselves.. This implies we must take our destiny into our hands and defend ourselves.. Only with our own army would they stop the massacre in their colony, southern cameroons..

    • Didn’t Ayaba Cho deploy soldiers in the Ambazombi termite nation? Go to Cameroon and lead the fight and die like a fly.

  5. AmbaRestoration

    Kamerun was made of Congo, Parts of Nigeria, Gabon, central Africa Republic. Are they going to attach all these Countries to reestablish German Kamerun????

    • That’s a possibility and not a necessity. It is a good thing though that you are getting the real picture!

      • Why is it not a necessity if it was ripped apart without LRC’s consent? It’s not a necessity because it’s an impossibility . playing around with words as such doesn’t present a clever impression about yourself my man. Besides, all necessities are possibilities. Ever heard of the phrase necessity is the mother of all inventions?

        • Necessity and possibility are not synonyms; and they can’t be used interchangeably. Put simply, when Cameroon finds the need to go after the pursuit of relative gains, they will look for a chance to do so, and thereby incur whatever cost that this might entail. That’s what offensive realists would argue.

        • You see how confused are you? How can you say possibility and necessity are synonyms never ever put them together please don’t forget this is a public website.

        • @Ras Tuge

          An individual’s will enforces necessity by exerting deliberate control to take action as this in itself develops to a possibility synonymous to a probability. It is hardly an absolute ratio. Don’t be too foolish to lump the words as synonyms especially when the initial standpoint was a derivative of political choices. Stop your stupid diversion. Even from an honest political approach, the pursuit of relative gain is invalidated when a dictator chooses lethal force and intimidation not backed by national suffrage. Nonsense.

          As for you @Colby, look for your mates and initiateexchanges with. You are the dullest of every commentator on this platform and if you don’t know, I ignore you on purpose. I hardly call people idiots but know that you are worst than that.

  6. there must be immediate transition within a month from the governing council, the patriotic Anglophone chiefs, Fons, all the resigned Anglophone MPs must replaced all the colonial civil servants lrc puppets in the SW/NW regions, including all the governors, SDOs, police and army chiefs, all the higher positions of blacklegs anglophones in the regions ,LRC must be driven by force together with all their military, police and agents, a referendum must be held within 6 months by only born and breed anglophones with family proven history at home and abroad which is optional to form their own PM, government excluding all francophones living in the regions, CPDM party, lrc must have no part to play or say, this new government must cover all department, inclusive of people from all the regions

  7. @Ras Tuge Look at this porpurted man from Kupe Muanenguba.Welcome back from the hole that u were hiding.Am sure u must be shocked by recent events.So,u really want a referendum to be conducted for all Cameroonians,both francophones and anglophones,hmmm? Did francophones voted during the 11th Feb 1961 plebiscite for SC to achieve independence either with association with Nigeria or LRC? why should francophones and anglophones vote now in a referendum to decide the future of CMR? Oh..let me guess.Your country,LRC wants to recover her lost territory,right?I can see,u are really annoyed that France and Britain came and divided the so called Kamerun that was ”one political unit” .Sorry,but that is destiny.SC and LRC were never meant to be one nation.Lets respect the will of God.

    • It is ‘PURPORTED’ and not ‘PORPURTED’.

      I have told you that i can’t discuss politics with you. Your level is just too low.

  8. @Ras Tuge It is only anglophones that are protesting,and u come out to say a referendum should be conducted for the whole country? ha ha ha….Or may be,do u want us to use the word plebisicte as it was used in 1961 for u to understand? OK,a plebiscte should be conducted for anglophones to decide their future.I u satisfied now?

  9. @Ras Tuge ”I have told you that i can’t discuss politics with you. Your level is just too low” ha ha ha ha…i go die laugh.Of course u can’t discuss politics with me becos i am far above your level.What u know is to move about with Oxford dictionary in your pocket to correct spellings and sentences in this forum.We, the people from SW /NW have united to fight our common enemy,Yaounde.I suuggest u guys should unite with the bamilekes and the bassas that u massacred,so that together,u can defeat Paris.Rather than fighting a lost battle with us.We have suceeded in destroying your 20th may and force u to celebrate 1st October under duress.We are not done with u yet.We will suffocate u people the more.I saw your helicopters in the air finding Ayaba’s forces..ha ha ha ha..wuna don see weti?

  10. The following happened under the sun and all and sundry, know it:
    a. We have been complaining for 57 years of marginalization
    b. We have been arrested, killed, raped, jailed, sent to exile, disappearances etc
    c. The president /lrc refused to dialogue with us saying there is no Anglo problem
    d Although we are militarized and brutalized, the president has remained quiet,
    enjoying in luzury in a swiss hotel
    e. We have been called names eg. dogs, biafra, sessesionist etc
    F. Every nook / cranny in SC, says enough is enough and no turning back
    g. Our representatives, no longer represent us
    Therefore, no country or institution, should impose on us. Our destiny, is in our
    hands. There are countries around the world, that are in just thousands and are surviving.
    Why not Ambazonia? Bye.

  11. Superior language English and a dying language French with outdated culture. Two countries can go separate ways. Nothing good will ever come from the union.

  12. @joshua,joshua,joshua how many times did I called you? I have been saying for So long that this stuff of secession you embarked on will get stuck into your throats. I have been advocating the peaceful outcome of this matter because Anglophones went to UK,they rubbished them,they went to France the same happened,they went to the USA they did the same thing to the AU and even the UN nothing good came out from there too.Why are they so stupid???? Do you think you people can succeed when you have all the mentioned organizations against you? This is simple common sense no need to go to the university try to think about all of this unless you are living in another planet.

    • And yet you are saying nothing in regards to the embarrassment your political tribal warlord Biya met at the UN? What about the Trump dinner he was banished from nor the numerous times Macron has refused to meet him? Dishonesty mixed with dullness is truly a recipe for disaster you know.

      • Africans For Donald Trump

        @ .

        You lying terrorist dot.
        Can you proof that Biya was banished from Trump dinner?

        You can spread all the Ambazonia propaganda you want but the truth remains the truth. UNESCOP did not cancel the GCE and does not have the power to cancel the GCE! What do you have to say to the kids you misled fooled not to go to school?
        Shameless terrorist dot! You are definitely a loser in life!

        • @AFDT why are you wasting your time answering to a man whose brain reflects the name ?

  13. @ Kongosa and .

    you people are filled with hatred.
    Here is my advice: since you people claim you can’t live with Cameroonians , then start by quitting this forum.
    This page is meant for Cameroonians and for friends of Cameroon.

    We Cameroonians want peace and nothing else.
    Take your hatred elsewhere. You can as well create a website where you can freely display such hatred but please not here…

    Innocent children have been killed, Cameroonians are traumatised.
    Africans must not kill each other forever!
    Enough of this nonsense!

  14. Africans For Donald Trump

    I do not feel sorry for any family that lost a relative on 1 October.

    They should teach their relatives to be responsible citizens.

    Death to the dumb terrorists!

  15. Africans for Donald T, you are same bastard criminal blood thirsty bandit like your slave master. Proud, brave and self conscious ambazonians are giving you all subhumans the lessons of your lifetime. The four corners of the earth got their archives full on your criminal banditory activities, illegal invasion and human rights abuses of the oilrich superior and well cultured people of the blessed ambaland. SHAME UNTO A CURSED PEOPLE HIRING KILLER SQUATS FROM NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES TO KILL A PEOPLE WHO’VE PROVEN THEIR CLASS IN EVERY ASPECT IMAGINABLE. JEALOUSY ON A UNIQUE PEOPLE AND THEIR GOD GIVEN RICHES HAS LED YOUR CRIMINAL DEMONIC MINDED, EMPTY HEADED FEATHERWEIGHT BANDITS, IN TOTAL DESPAIR IMPORT KILLERS TO SECURE THEIR LOOT. THE BRAVE AMAZONIANS ARE FACING MILITIA FROM OUTSIDE.

    • Africans For Donald Trump

      @ Ndinde,

      Anyone seen with a blue and white flag in the North West or South West will be arrested and locked up.

      Anyone who decides to follow the orders of terrorist losers like you should be ready to bear the consequences.
      Only a dumb loser will call the cowards of the North West and South West who are burning down schools and amputating the arms of young girls who want to pursue their right of education “brave”.

      Only a terrorist loser will call cowards who cannot protect their children’s right to education “brave people”. You shameless coward terrorist loser!
      Your Momo grass bird sniper Alfred Dasi needs your help. Do you know if he is alive?

      You are definitely a very sad loser in life!. Death to the terrorists!

      • Blood filled terrorist, the world now knows you cursed subhumans are the terroriststerrorists.

        Ask the european parliament, your criminal record’s are full. The ICC awaits the kingpins of your imported genocidal squats, bastard.

  16. la verite bless

    The best export of Cameroon is “peace”. does this “peace” comes with prosperity???, hell no. which means we are Slaves of the regime. while other nations are taken advantage of their peaceful nature to consolidate lasting prosperity, our so called president is using peace as weapon to connive with his master France to make our lives miserable. former french colonies are the most poorest countries in the world. France is a cancer to Africa.

  17. For ever young

    @Maria bit*** or whatever the acronym “B” stand for the last time I checked the inventor of the internet did not authorized u or anybody else to deprive other from using for whatever selfish reasons in that regard or u can prove me wrong if u think otherwise

  18. @Maria B U call those protesters that Y’de gov’t is killing,Cameroonians?ha ha ha ha.. don’t make me laugh my lungs out.If they were Cameroonians,i don’t think your gov’t would have ordered the military to use life ammunitions on them.The Biafrans have been agitating in Nigeria for more than 6 months now,but we have never heard of any body that their gov’t have used life ammunitions on.During Catalans referendum,the Spanish gov’t sent but police to stop the referendum,not military.But in Cameroon,u send the military to go and kill anglophone protesters.And we have registered more than 100 deaths already,since the beginning of this crisis.And u called those people that your gov’t is killing,Cameroonians? It is obvious they are citizens of another country.Just accept it and stop pretending.

  19. @Maria B I was expecting u to blame the gov’t for killing innocent children.But no,u are just saying that innocent children have been killed.It is obvious the Y’de gov’t that u are defending believe there is no blood running in the veins of anglophones.Just accept it and stop pretending.Biya is ready to kill all anglophones becos he does not want to share his powers and u are defending him..People have started distancing themselves from Y’de but murderers like u are standing firm with him.

  20. Kongosa, I won’t argue her with you.

    Just one clarification, Millions of Nigerians have been killed since the Biafra war.
    Please stop exposing your ignorance here. Do you even know what you are talking about?

    Like I said, we Cameroonians want peace and nothing else.

    Have a blessed day.

    • here*

    • No you don’t want peace because peace Gilles honesty and truth. Simple logic. All you want is lies and whatever it takes to keep power over people you can’t control.