africanews | In a recent turn of events, Paris willingly delivered its classified files to a commission of historians from both countries charged by President Paul Biya of Cameroon and French President Emmanuel Macron to unveil the gruesome yet often ignored part of colonisation and decolonization process of the central African country, as it would seem colonial history remained a negligible component of French Identity.
This comes as one of many actions undertaken by French President Macron to prone a new relationship with Africa.
“Since president Macron, was committed to it, Cameroonian researchers benefit from conditions of access to these files which are classified,” stated Mrs. Ramondy.
Comprised of 15 historians, the team, directed by Karine Ramondy, will work on France’s involvement in Cameroon in the repression of independence and opposition movements between 1945 and 1971.
Talks of reparations have been mentioned, but it is still too early to confirm.
“The only thing that’s going to come out of reparations, of course, is going to be up to the appropriate people to discuss and decide once that report is done, and you can obviously count on the team to make that report as balanced and as serious as possible,” adds the French historian.
Nevertheless, some historians, such as Boniface Mongo-Mboussa, conceptualize memory work as selective and belonging to the realm of enchantment as opposed to the truth of history which is undeniable and indelible.
Cameroonian writer, Mongo Beti theorized in 1972 in Main Basse sur le Cameroun how decolonization efforts undertaken by France in Africa, more specifically in Cameroon constituted a type of recolonization and somewhat a rewrite of historical facts.