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Cameroon’s cardinal: Anglophone independence must be on agenda

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon Crux: Covering all things Catholic | A survey conducted by religious leaders ahead of Cameroon’s Sept. 30 – Oct. 4 “Major National Dialogue” has indicated the severity of the nation’s Anglophone crisis, according to the country’s sole Catholic cardinal.

Cardinal Christian Tumi, the emeritus Archbishop of Douala, and a delegation of religious leaders met with Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute – who is chairing the dialogue – on Sept. 18 with the 400-page results of a survey conducted in the country’s volatile Anglophone regions.

The “Anglophone Crisis” began in 2016, when demonstrations broke out in the English-speaking North West and South West regions after there were demands to use French in their common law courts and English-modeled schools. English speakers make up around 20 percent of the country’s population and have long complained about being marginalized by the French-speaking ruling class.

After Cameroon’s security forces’ heavy-handed response – including using live ammunition on demonstrators – rebel movements arose calling for the independence of Anglophone Cameroon, saying the new country would be called Ambazonia.

According to the UN, the ensuing fighting between the separatists and government forces has led to the deaths of at least 2,000 people, and the displacement of a further 500,000.

Tumi says over 1,000 Anglophones responded to the questionnaire, and that a vast majority – 69 percent – want to secede.

“In our questionnaire to Anglophones, we tried to influence the Anglophone opinion, but we did not succeed; therefore, it shows how deep the problem is… When we said, ‘what form of government do you think can solve this problem? Federation or decentralization…’ I think just about 4 or 5 people reacted out of a thousand. 69 percent said absolute separation,” Tumi told journalists shortly after his meeting with the prime minister.

The cardinal said the questionnaire did not even ask about the possibility of separation, only giving the option of federation or decentralization, but respondents used the space provided below the question for “other options” to write in “separation.”

”We drew the conclusion … that 69 percent of our respondents are convinced that if we want to love each other; that is to say, if the Anglophones and Francophones want to live as brothers and sisters, absolute separation…that is to say, secession, is important,” Tumi said.

The cardinal has been a long advocate of a federal system of government for Cameroon, but said that if Anglophones want separation, their wish should be granted.

“If they [the separatists] succeed in convincing everyone that separation is the only way forward, then it should be adopted. It is possible that he [Cameroonian President Paul Biya] accepts that he is human. He is not God. I think separation can resolve this problem,” Tumi said.

Biya has long ruled out separation as an option, insisting that Cameroon will remain “one and indivisible.”

Even when he called for the national dialogue, he reaffirmed his hard-line stance against the separatist rebels, insisting they lay down their arms.

Still, Tumi said the upcoming dialogue means that Cameroon is “gradually emerging from the Anglophone crisis.”

“The President of the Republic has decided that citizens must meet to see how to get out of the difficult situation. What the head of state has done is a very good thing; we are on the right path,” the cardinal said. “We are coming out of this unfortunate situation in the two English-speaking regions.”

A positive outcome to the dialogue will depend on the sincerity of those taking part. Tumi waved aside concerns that the prime minister, who once denied the existence of an Anglophone problem, is the wrong person to lead the dialogue.

“We will see on the ground what he will do before judging. There are people who automatically believe that since he is a member of the party in power, he would not be objective enough. We must instead look at his work. If he works in all objectivity, no one will have anything against him,” Tumi said.

Bishop Andrew Nkea of Mamfe, a major hotspot of separatist activity, said “dialogue is always the best way to solve problems.”

Speaking to Crux after the meeting with Ngute, the bishop said the dialogue “is a praiseworthy initiative.”

“Now it depends on what we do with the dialogue. The first thing is that we should be sincere. We should be able to talk what we feel, and we must look at what will better the situation on a permanent basis,” said Nkea.

“Let us not do cosmetic surgery. It will not help us. We say in Latin Sanatio in Radice – you heal from the roots. This is what will help this dialogue. If we do not go to the root to try to heal the problem from the roots, then we are only postponing the problem. The only way to heal from the roots is to be honest, sincere and not to fear to help our country,” he continued.

The bishop said the first item on the agenda must be: “Why are Anglophones angry?”

The answer is rooted in Cameroon’s past. Originally a German colony, the country was divided between France and Britain after Germany’s defeat in World War I.

When British Cameroon joined the already independent French Cameroon in 1961, it did so under a federal system that allowed both parts to practice the legal and educational systems inherited from their colonial powers.

But when the country’s first president, Ahmadou Ahidjo, scrapped the federation in 1972 and introduced a unitary national government through a hastily organized referendum, it was clear that the minority English-speaking population would see its legal and educational systems chipped away.

In other words, the present crisis has been decades in the making.

Tumi understands the complexity of the problem, and said all participants of the dialogue must “speak with sincerity and honesty.”

The cardinal also said the country’s religious leaders must play a role.

“The men of God are obliged to do everything, even at the cost of our lives, so that peace returns to us here in Cameroon,” the cardinal said.

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49 comments

  1. Where is that idiot called @bobijazz and his koni mbalmayo brother dull @zamzam to come and Yap about a minority wanting to divide their 2 and divisible country? This Cpdm dialogue with the terrorist army partaking in that junta btw is a waste of time. Ambazonia shall liberate itself through the barrel of the gun. Bring it on Paul Biya. Wata Na Wata.

    • What do you mean by Anglophone doesn’t mean people from NW and SW? What then does Anglophone mean? And if you say 1000 people is not representative enough, do you want them to sample the entire Anglophone population? Do you know what sampling mean?

      You are a real Idiot!

  2. What was the target audience? Anglophones? Who is an anglophone? By the way, the sampling group of 1000 is not representative enough. Anglophones across the Republic of Cameroon does not mean people from South West and North West Regions. And by they way, if 65% of the respondents are from North West Region, does it mean that anglophones want to secede? And the question again is who is an anglophone?

    • The target audience is those whose ancestors voted in the plebiscite and were later duped and conned in Fumban by the cunning corrupt occultic despotic tyrannic criminal gang of France led by Ahmadou Ahidjo. If your ancestor did not vote in the plebiscite just like Victor Ngoh, you will never qualify to go through this litmus test no matter how hard you hide your frog eyes.

  3. Now the voice of reason and of the people has spoken, via a credible source, Christian Cardinal Tumi. 69% of Ambazonians want separation, statistics don’t lie.

    When this eventually happens, all the proud Southern Cameroonians who think that we should stay and be marginalised by the buffoonery of lrc, could as well pack their bags and move eastward, even though such a new country would accommodate everyone, including Francophone Cameroonians who want a new citizenship.

    We are not a discriminatory people, we are an objective people, like the objectivity of Tumi, shown through an opinion poll. Lrc can’t force us to stay if we don’t want to, because there will never be peace in Cameroon. The Pandora box has been pried opened by arrogance, it can’t simply be shut with guns and intimidation.

  4. The call is for an Agenda Item; a starting point to the solution. Discuss it, let the people vote either to stay or leave. Forced marriage no di waka!

  5. Cardinal Christian Tumi is a real paradox!

    The man suspected of suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome is the very person who displayed a rare bravado by presenting to Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute a 400-page document, including an opinion poll he had carried out of 1000 Anglophone personalities, 69% of whom expressed their wish for outright separation to go back to their original government in West Cameroon.

    • I think this is the type of objectivity that Cameroon has lacked for 37 years, where the people have no voice. The opinion of the people is stronger than that of a single individual, it supersedes the opinion of a strong leader.

      Tumi has shown that he will respect the opinion of the people, even when it has gone against his. These are the true values of democracy that Biya and his corrupt regime lacks. It is their continuous bending of the opinion of Cameroonians, pushing their greed that has led us here: Rigging elections, refusing there to acknowledge the Anglophone problem, asking transparency international to show proof of corruption, killing civilians and refusing the facts, etc. Tumi sets a new and remarkable example never before seen in Cameroon.

      Kudos and respect to this man!

  6. Who is separating? North West and South West from the rest of Cameroon or North West from the rest of Cameroon? Cardinal Tumi should do another survey to find out if South West wants to secede?

    • Manawa you are not our representative from the south west. And by the way most of you from Southwest with single mothers and no fathers or don’t know who your father’s are will be tamed. You’re the category of hateful southwesterners that will be reeducated and given a choice: join the federation or ask your mother what part of Africa your estrange father hails from and go there with your ignorance. You’re fighting Biya but killing southwesterners and depriving children from having an education.

    • @ manawa
      The real natives of the South West region don’t want anything to do with these barbarians from the North West.
      For me Cmr will be better off without the NW region.
      That part of the country can be sold to Nigeria. No-one will care!
      Nothing good comes from that part of the country. Only misey, aggressivity, barbarism…
      Why must they rely on the SW to secede?
      Why can’t they be a country by themselves?
      Cameroon is and will remain one.
      People from the NW who don’t like it can just pack and leave .
      They have destroyed the two regions over the years with their barbarism , jeopardise the next generation, and brought the SW region economy to the ground.
      The two regions have nothing in common. They can never be one country.

      • Rotting lass ashawo Bikutsi. Go and read your history book you school drop out whore. Smelly tumbu lass thieving bulu akpwara woman

  7. @manawa ”Who is an anglophone?” ..An anglophone is a Southern Cameroonian

  8. Separation, is the best solution. We shall not see this kind of bruteness / marginalization etc
    again.

  9. i hope you people will not reject tumi as soon as he says what you don’t want to hear. Btw survey is not always the truth. We’ve seen people winning survey but loosing on the field. Why not give the result per village, tribe, region? How many voted from the bush, diaspora, refugee camp, kondengui? Eg: everyone knows that ambazombians is free in the web but how many know that thousands of them are still receiving salary from biya?

    • Camer believer (Colby)

      The results of this survey are as funny as the person who conducted the survey.Lets supposed that 69 percent of the so called Anglophones want to separate from the other entity how come 90 percent of the Anglophones ran to Dla,YDe,Bafoussam,Ngaoundere,Garoua, etc… For their safety when their scambazonian brothers who were supposed to liberate them started raping, killing, burying them alive? Such jokes can only fool the author of the so called survey Cameroonians are not fools.

      • Well spoken.
        The rest is rubbish and distraction

        • @Mbappe
          Keep living in your fool’s paradise.
          Remember when you used to say Biya will never talk about the Southern Cameroons issue? I believe that convenient amnesia will not let you remember.
          Just don’t run away from this forum in a year’s time like that coward called @Rastuge

      • @ Colby, well said.
        Those scambazonians, specialy the so called diaspora are living in a dream world.
        Even in my village, we received people who have run for their lifestyle!
        In Ebolowa, we had to open new bilingual schools for the children who run to us for safety.
        It is the same thing in big cities like Yde and Dla.
        Really delusional people!

    • @mbamois feces face;

      Survey ms are not always right in your Beti-Bulu junta that’s why Biya wins every election land slide despite the electorate rejecting him for over 4 decades. What’s a shethole frog gutter mentality. Expand the sample and see it extend to 98%.

      @mbappe frog face, what happened to the 2 weeks required to clean the stone in the shoe? Tell your uncle Biya to bring it on. Ambazonians are well armed now as you have realized the bad way your BIRs are after all humans that can be killed.

      @colby Bassa Mussong producer;

      We are not like your weak ancestors Um Nyobe the terrorist whose head was plucked off like that of a chicken. You can drain all the Mussong from all the Bassa mortuaries and add to your weapons but it will never stop our resolve.

      • Camer believer (Colby)

        Once again you displayed your stupidity in broad daylight you’re the real @Enemy of wisdom I asked how 90 percent of the so called Anglophones ran to their “enemie’s” land for their safety when their scambazonian brothers started raping,killing and burying them alive if the results of the survey conducted by the Cardinal are true?The question is in English moron of a cursed lineage !

  10. Finally the cardinal has resigned to the fact that the desire to be free can’t be buried by lies and propaganda of one and indivisible brouhaha!
    The people of southern Cameroons for the next 100yrs will continue to fight for a total separation from the blood thirsty equatorial Africans of the tribal Francophone government of French Cameroon.
    An elementary request of English in classrooms and Courtrooms in a constitutionally bilingual country resulted in the tribal government declaring war on minority Anglophones. Consequences;
    600,000 refugees in French Cameroon
    150,000 refugees in Nigeria
    4M affected
    300 villages burnt
    20,000 killed
    10,000 missing or jailed in French Cameroon.
    130,000 children no school
    Who is fooling who?
    The indigenes of southern Cameroons will be free.

  11. I don’t what is meant by water na water, but I know that graffi na graffi and Cardinal Tumi is graffi, period!

  12. You frogs can rant all you want,but the survey speaks for its self.i will challenge you frogs to carry out a free and fair referendum in Amba land,but before you do that,book your places in the mortuarys.those for total separation will be more than 90%.

    Keep fooling yourselfs that Ambalanders are running to Y’de,D’la and Ebolowa because the love you,fyi a lot of those that were surveyed live there.moreover,we have family in those regions of lrc,and we know just how much they hate being there.
    You frogs can never force us to stay no matter what.the experiment of the two different countries didn’t work,live with it.

    • Camer believer (Colby)

      @palapala You are as stupid as the nickname you are using how did you get visa if there’s any ? the question is clear how come 90 percent of the so called Anglophones ran to Dla,YDe ,Bafoussam, Ngaoundere ,Garoua etc …for their safety when their scambazonian brothers who were supposed to liberate them from the so called francophones started raping killing and burying them alive? Answer to this question to show me that I am wrong to label you a moron.

      • @colby,if you are living in denial,or still can’t figure out that our people are running away from the brutality of your military,then you are the moron.forget about Ambazonia and get a life rather than “labelling”people.
        Ambazonia is gone and people like you can’t even understand.

    • @ palapala
      No one is forcing you to stay.
      You are free to pack and leave the territory of Cmr!
      What is the part you don’t understand?
      The territory of Cmr is INDIVISIBLE!
      Unhappy individuals about a united Cameroon, are free to leave!
      Pack your belongings and your barbarism and leave! Not a single Cameroonian will chase you.
      No-one will ever care or notice your absence.
      The entire NW region is nothing but badluck to the rest of the country.

      • @Bikutsi if one and indivisible is by force,then the end shall justify the means.i thought it was terrorism,now you call it barbarism.for the record if you don’t know it yet,we are defending ourselves from your type

  13. @Palapala, of course we want two separate states or countries. Republic of Ambazonia or better still Republic of North West and the Republic of Cameroon. South West is not part of your Ambazonia gig. the South West does not want to be occupied by graffi people. Leave us alone!!

    • @manawa,i don’t know about you,but to the best of my knowledge,the southern Cameroons is made up of the northern,and southern regions.or better still the British southern Cameroons.

  14. @Camer believer (Colby) So,becos anglophones are running to East Cameroon for safety means they love your one and indivisible Cameroon? I guess those that have ran to Nigeria also love to be Nigerians,right?Go and check,during the South Sudanese war of independence,many South Sudanese ran to North Sudan for safety,but when an independence referendum was given,90 percent voted for independence.When there is war,civilians usually runs to safer places.Of course east Cameroon is a safe place for now, becos many anglophones have been living there even before this war and they have not been attacked by your miliatry,same as francophone civilians living in Ambasonia have not been attacked by Amba boys.
    If u want to try us,just give a referendum,lets see if 95percent will not vote for seperation

    • Camer believer (Colby)

      @ kongossa the question is on the ground those who ran to naija sent a strong message to the remaining Cameroonians you have their statistics this is simple common sense man.

    • @KONGOSA,how do you expect @colby to understand something that’s that simple for the common man,but yet so complicated for him to understand?

  15. @Camer believer (Colby) There won’t be need for any referendum becos we cannot hold referendum twice.We held referendum in 1961 and our independence was granted with resolution 1608.Unfortunately,our case is not like that of South Sudan.Resolution 1608,till date remains to be implemented, so don’t even think that we need to hold another referendum to determine whether anglophones love to be in your one and indivisible Cameroon or outright independence.Who will be the authority to supervise that referendum? ELECAM? ha ha ha ha..ELECAM is first of all,an institution in neighbouring Cameroon,so they can’t surpervise referendum of another country.Please,the least we want u to do is to get your military out of our country.Priod…We are not organising any referendum………

  16. @Camer believer (Colby) Those who ran to Nigeria,till date Yaounde have never visited them with any relief material.Not even food.It is Ayah foundation,Ambasonian diaporas and other people of good will that are helping them.They even told Biya that they don’t need anything from him and his gov’t.
    Your economic rape of Southern Cameroon is living it’s last days….

    • Camer believer (Colby)

      @ kongossa very funny as usual those who ran to Naija like I said before sent a strong message to the remaining Cameroonians, that they have nothing to do with them anymore,that the place they found themselves was far better than the rest of the country this is my opinion as for the government it’s up to them to answer.

  17. Eritreans ran to Ethiopia for “safety”
    South Sudanese ran to Sudan for “safety”
    East Timoris ran to Indonesia for “safety”
    Kosovars ran to Serbia for “safety”.

    Tha notwithstanding, Eritrea, South Sudan, East Timor and Kosovo became independent.

    * LESSONS LEARNT *

    The movement of people from occupied territories to the country of the occupiers is NOT an indicator for love of the occupiers. Itis simply for convenience.
    Nkrumah, Sekou TOURE, Lumumba et al. moved to the countries of their occupiers. However, that did not prevent them from liberating their countries.
    Now that it is crystal clear that the BIR can NEVER EVER defeat the “secessionists”, Dictator Biya should accept defeat and NEGOTIATE with the leadership of SC.
    BIYALOGUE is a circus to please the international community.

  18. Nobody should waste time with Bikutsi and her ilk.
    Its federation or outright separation with a 10 yearly referendum to test for separation appetite. We said it already, every passing month pushes more people to the side of separation.
    We are happy to go but can larepublique survive with Ambazonians?

  19. @Bikutsi et al,tell your blood suckers in y’de to release Mr Abdul Karim Ali with immediate effect otherwise there will be a crusade brigade for him,just watch and see.
    The gentleman comes out to speak his mind,you pick him and lock him up,that’s what you people call freedom of speech in your advanced kangaroo democracy.

    Abdul Karim is one of ours,and we love him.keep him there at your own risk,don’t say you were not warned.

  20. @ kongosa. Was your so called resolution 1608 constitutional? Fyi kamerunians are matured enough to contest it in a court and the Germans colonial power newspapers contested. Why didn’t they do a referendum in Germany also?

    • Ah! Ignorance quand tu nous tient!
      You flog us for laying claim to a certain British Legacy but wish to use French systems to demand a German referendum on whether the germans should continue raping West Cameroon. Really?
      You larepublicans are really something aren’t you?

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