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May 23, 2017

Dreaded Bamileke masquerades dance groups hijacked May 20th celebrations in Kumba

Despite invasive calls for a massive National Day boycott in Kumba, the May ...
May 23, 2017

Kumba-Cameroon: SDF Mayors defy SDO’s orders, boycott unity march

The three Social Democratic Front (SDF) Mayors of Kumba, May 19 defied the ...
May 23, 2017

Ben Muna lambast, accuses Gov’t of cultural genocide on Southern Cameroonians

The erstwhile President of the Cameroon Bar Council, Barrister Ben Muna, has ...
May 23, 2017

CAF Champions league: Cotton Sport to play against Al Ahly of Egypt

The Garoua based football club will be playing home this Tuesday afternoon at ...
May 23, 2017

Albatross Saga: Inoni and Mebara to appear at the Yaounde Supreme Court

Forty months after former Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni and former Secretary ...
May 22, 2017

At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert in British arena

A blast on Monday night at a concert in the English city of Manchester where ...
May 22, 2017

At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert in British arena

A blast on Monday night at a concert in the English city of Manchester where ...
May 22, 2017

SDF: Two Mayors failed to respect Fru Ndi’s 20th May boycott call

According to information published by the Cameroon daily, Mutations in its May ...
May 22, 2017

Ghosts Visit Banga Bakundu Gendermarie Brigade

The Gendarmerie Brigade of Banga Bakundu a village along the Kumba road has ...
May 22, 2017

BACC Technique Expected to start today Under disturbing circumstances

Candidates going in for the Technical General Certificate of Examination BACC, ...
May 22, 2017

Ntumfor Nico Halle on bended knees for freedom of Anglophone detainees

Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle has appealed to President Biya to use his office ...
May 22, 2017

Gendarmerie officers hijack illegal fuel business in Southern Cameroons

Some gendarmerie officers who were brought in from Kutaba in the West Region in ...
May 22, 2017

Cameroon: Mysterious Fire Gut GCE Board Office, Troops Caught Napping

Troops and other security agents on duty at the Cameroon General Certificate of ...
May 22, 2017

Southern Cameroons: Ahidjo’s Forceful Takeover

This article is translated from the original that was published in The ‘Le ...
May 21, 2017

CRTV: Charles Ndongo apologises to French community on behalf of Adele Mbala

The Director General of the CRTV Charles Ndongo, has apologised to the French ...

Sports / Games

May 23, 2017
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The Garoua based football club will be playing home this Tuesday afternoon at 4:00pm, against the Egyptian table leaders, Al Ahly. Cotton sport
May 20, 2017
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The head coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon says he has removed Joel Matip from his plans. Speaking to the BBC on Friday, Mr Broos disclosed
May 19, 2017
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The under 23 lions of Cameroon have failed to pick a qualification ticket for the final of the ongoing 4th Islamic solidarity Games in Baku,
May 17, 2017
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The Cameroon Footballers’ Union has begun a programme to offer 700 high-performance boots to players of the professional football league in the
May 16, 2017
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The beleaguered President of the Cameroon Olympic Committee, Colonel Kalkaba Malboum, has sworn to unmask the Judas Iscariots behind his
May 15, 2017
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The Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) has issued a communiqué urging the football community in Cameroon and abroad to be vigilant in the face

Cameroon Today

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Despite invasive calls for a massive National Day boycott in Kumba, the May 20th festivities in the Meme Divisional headquarters recorded relative success, as hired, but dreaded Bamileke masquerades
May 23, 2017
0
The president of La Republique signed a series of decrees appointing and dismissing local administrators on Monday.The message,that was read on the lone state broadcaster CRTV, brought tears and joy
May 22, 2017
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A truck carrying sand has crushed two people in  Nyala, in the economic capital of Cameroon, Douala.The incident occurred on Monday, 22.02.2017 at 10:30 a.m.{loadposition myposition}The two victims
March 21, 2017
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The U.N. refugee agency is calling on Cameroon to stop forcibly deporting refugees to Nigeria in violation of international refugee law and a tripartite agreement recently signed by UNHCR, Nigeria,
IS THERE AN "ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM" IN CAMEROON - PONDI

For over a month now, heated debates have been going on among Cameroonians. These debates do focus on an issue which, in turn, divides public opinion, arouses passions which were thought to be forgotten, and rekindles antagonisms, believed to have been dealt with in the past.

This reflection examines successively the arguments of the opposing groups, states my position and formulates a number of practical and useful suggestions.

1. The arguments being discussed
Two groups, at least, are at loggerheads with regard to this passionate issue.

The first group, a majority of them francophones with very few anglophones, maintains energetically that there is no specific anglophone problem in our country. According to proponents of this view, all the ten regions put together do experience similar difficulties, marked by an abject lack of viable infrastructures (roads, water, electricity, hospital, schools, etc.). These observable shortcomings do cause lots of displeasure to the populations in the areas affected, without any exception.

Instead of attempting to use the present grievances to achieve unknown goals, the troublemakers from the Northwest and Southwest Regions, as supporters of the first group hold, ought to join forces with their compatriots from the eight other regions and together push for a meaningful improvement of national infrastructures and the institutions for a better and decentralized political and economic governance.

On the other hand, the second group of Cameroonians who feel concerned with this debate is mainly comprised of anglophones, including a minority of francophones who back their views. Its supporters strongly believe, on their part, that there is without any shadow of a doubt an anglophone problem, initially created by the violation of the resolutions of the July 1961 Foumban Conference, which explicitly recognized the existence of TWO distinct Cameroonian entities which deliberately agreed (i.e. without force) to become united, but on one condition: that the cultural specificity of each part be respected, and that some specific characteristics resulting from history in relation to the way of life of Cameroonians of both sides of the Moungo be considered.

The official languages, French and English, were give equal status by our fundamental law, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon.

It should be noted that, according to the second group of people, constitutional equality is not respected on daily bases by the powers that be and by Cameroonian citizens, mostly French-dominated. Is it normal, they wonder, for you to be ridiculed in public places in Yaounde, Douala, Ngaoundere or Bertoua, simply because you sought an information in English? Is it normal for an English-speaking citizen to be told by a civil servant, "I do not understand that your dialect, can't you speak in French like everyone?" Finally, how do we condone the commonly used expression in French "je ne suis pas ton Bamenda (I am not your Bamenda)" interpreted as: "I am not your house servant!"?

This daily abuse of the rights of anglophone Cameroonian citizens is their common lot through out the national territory.

The haughty and condescending behaviour portrayed by lots of francophones (who most often do not measure the ravaging impact of such hurtful and humiliating words towards their own brothers from the other side of the Moungo) may lead to frustration and a sense of revolt. This explains the conviction of some anglophones who generally sympathize with the SCNC secessionist ideology, that francophones are bent on swallowing up their anglosaxon culture and language. Their conclusion? Francophones are responsible for all their woes.

The violent protest orchestrated by a minority of anglophones, can be seen as a result of feeling as Second Class citizens in Cameroon. Unfortunately, in the political arena, impressions are even more important than the reality.

This paper, in a way skims through, perhaps hastily, the main positions of the protagonists of this key debate.

What is to be drawn from these arguments?

2. My stance on the current issue

Given the number of complaints from our anglophone compatriots over the years (some of which have been stated above), it is hard to conclude that there is no "anglophone problem". The mere fact that our own brothers feel ill at ease to the point of expressing their frustrations publicly on mass media and elsewhere, is in and of itself a real problem.
Instead of resorting to individual and collective denial, it is safer for the French-speaking demographic majority, to do everything to understand the twists and turns, the nature and depth of the frustrations experienced by a group of Cameroonians whose historic past is uniquely different.

Many Cameroonian are frequently heard declaring that all the regions do face economic, financial and existential difficulties. This is perfectly true. But none of the eight regions- apart from the Northwest and Southwest- was made to choose freely between uniting with Cameroon or with Nigeria.

It is worth recalling that Resolution 1352 (XIV) of the UN General Assembly of 16th October 1959 as regards the Plebiscite provided TWO alternatives for the populations under British administration attached to Nigeria: either to link with Nigeria or to join francophone Cameroon.

In our analyses , we must therefore keep a sense of proportion.

Acknowledging the existence of an "anglophone problem" is quite different from asserting that the protesters are right across the board or are granted the right to abuse legal provisions.

It goes without saying that Anglophones can aspire to and hold any position in this country.
When our anglophone compatriots clamour for the full respect of all their rights as citizens of Cameroon, all Cameroonians must work hand in hand so as to make this a reality. We therefore have to change our daily behaviour and adapt it to the spirit and the letter of our fundamental law.

However - and this is very important - when some in this group, though a meagre minority, advocate secession, the profanation of State Symbols, "the return of francophones to their land", in a general atmosphere of violence, Cameroonians of both cultural divides must clearly say NO.

This is why. No group that has preached secession in Africa has ever witnessed economic prosperity in such a context. The Biafra war of secession from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which was already a federal state at the time, recorded between 500,000-2,000,000 deaths from 1967 to 1970. As for Rwanda, where two groups of citizens wanted to lock horns though not of separate ethnic extractions from anthropological point of view (same culture,e same language, same religion and same history). Their deadly confrontation ended up with at least 800,000 people dead within three months only (April-June 1994).

As far as South Sudan is concerned, the last born of secessionist Republic in Africa, which separated from the Sudan of Khartoum on July 9, 2011. It is far from being an example of a prosperous state. The fratricidal struggle occurring within and without Africa’s youngest Republic has already cost over 150,000 deaths till date. (Source: United Nations, March 2016).
From the foregoing, it can be asserted that no matter the legitimacy of the complaints voiced by several Anglophones groups, "the solution" favouring violence, war and chaos can only be devastating for Cameroon whose identity in Africa and the world lies in the concept "Unity in Diversity". Should we call back to mind that the UN Resolution 1352 of 16th October 1959 already mentioned above gave no room for the creation of a separate State by the anglophone regions of Cameroon.

The confidential internal letter of 10th June 1960, sent by British authorities on the field to their hierarchy at United Nations headquarters, shows evidence of this official position (source: Victor E. Mukete, My odyssey. The story of Cameroon Reunification 2013, p419).

3. To conclude, what concrete proposals?

• The rule of law must always prevail. As no citizen stands above the law, all those who involve themselves in offences, should answer charges before the relevant courts: civil courts for civilians and military courts for the forces of law and order. In respecting these dispositions lie the authority of the State and the safety of everyone under the rule of law.

• Renovate and upgrade the Reunification Monument located in Yaounde. How many Yaounde city dwellers or Cameroonians who pass by are aware of its deep historic significance? It is about time we give it the full extent of its pedagogic significance.

• Consider the creation of the position of a State Mediator charged, among others, with processing files from civil society members or organisations, under clearly defined conditions.

• Review the curricula of secondary and university education and introduce at long last the key sociocultural aspects regarding the ten regions of Cameroon.

• Introduce the teaching of English to francophones and French to anglophones as from the age of five to free young Cameroonians of linguistic imprisonment and make them open to the stimulating horizons offer by all the cultures of their common heritage: Cameroon.

• Accelerate a genuine decentralisation process with the ultimate goal of bringing administration closer to the people and enable proximity rule.

• Take keen interest in identifying and invigorating civil or religious institutions present in the two parts of our territory for the purpose of creating enduring links. For example, the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon (PCC) and Eglise Presbytérienne du Cameroun (EPC), the same should go for all religious institutions on both sides. Furthermore, the Tikar, Bamoun, Mbam and Banso kingdoms which were founded in the 14th Century by one and the same family (two brothers and a sister) are a clear illustration of the cultural links between the so called Anglophone and Francophones.

• Foster a complete change in behaviour towards one another (francophones and anglophones). Do all within our powers to know and acknowledge one another’s cultures and ways of life, and turn away from nefarious prejudices which constitute a danger to the stability of our entire Nation.

• Recall also that the official languages that we speak and defend so passionately today are not a choice made by our Cameroonian ancestors. Indeed, before the 14th November 1884, NOBODY in Cameroon spoke French or English.
That is an irrefutable fact.

LET US THEREFORE AVOID TO FALL INTO THE SAME TRAP THAT PLAGUED LIBYA ENTRY TO CHAOS.

Pr Jean-Emmanuel Pondi
Professor of Political Science and International Relations
Ph.d., Penn State University
M. Phil., Cambridge University;
M. Sc., London School of Economics.

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Religion / Church

May 23, 2017
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A pastor in Zimbabwe is making headlines after claiming to have had a conversation with God on phone. According to the BBC, the pastor was reportedly
May 22, 2017
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 Five centuries ago, Martin Luther reformed the Christian church to prevent the marketing of religion. But in Africa, the debate over blending God
May 15, 2017
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Jonathan Mthethwa was killed by three crocodiles as he carried out a religious demonstration in Zimbabwe.  Shocked witnesses said the clergyman
May 03, 2017
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 The meeting conveyed by Arch Bishop Samuel Kleda in Buea ended on an impasse as he failed to convince the bishop in Buea to accept that Catholic
April 24, 2017
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Young teenage girl on Friday April 21, 2017 confessed during a deliverance prayer carried out in a popular Pentecostal Church in Bafoussam that she
April 21, 2017
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MESSAGE TO ALL PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN, MEMBERS OF CHRIST'S LAY FAITHFUL AND PEOPLE OF GOODWILL IN THE DIOCESE OF MAMFE DIRECT SUMMONS TO

Business / Economy

May 18, 2017
0
Cameroon has borrowed about FCFA 43.58 billion from the Islamic Development Bank. It was on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia where the Minister of the
May 18, 2017
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The first ever international forum on digital economy has just ended in La Republique Du Cameroun under the patronage of the country’s absentee
May 16, 2017
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The spectacle at the Douala port last night  almost similar to what befell anglophone lawyers last year appears to be crumbling activities at the
May 12, 2017
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During the celebration of May Day, Joël Nana Kontchou, Managing Director of Eneo Cameroon, the company in charge of the electricity sector in
May 11, 2017
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The South African mobile operator giant is back on stage with several packages for Cameroonians. MTN has signed a three-year renewable contract
May 10, 2017
0
Cameroon is hosting an international forum on digital economy from 15th to 17th May 2017 with the principal ambition of emerging as “technology

Health / Medical

May 21, 2017
0
The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic republic of Congo increased to 29 cases from the previous 21. The World Health Organization says of the
May 18, 2017
0
The Cameroon Renaissance Movement is concerned by the Government management of the strike by the Syndicat des Médecins du Cameroun (SYMEC). SYMEC
May 16, 2017
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Activities were paralyzed at the Yaounde center hospital and other hospitals in Cameroon as members of the union of medical personnel began a second
May 15, 2017
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Canal 2 International controversially cancelled a programme which was going to feature the president of the Cameroon Doctors’ Trade Union at the
May 15, 2017
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The lexical gimmick devised by Public Health Minister, Andre Mama Fouda, to trick doctors into calling-off their planned strike action has flopped.
May 15, 2017
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Cameroon doctors are in the second phase of their strike action, which will cover three days (from Monday to Wednesday). The peaceful strike was

Daily / Newsbrief

May 22, 2017
0
Candidates going in for the Technical General Certificate of Examination BACC, are expected to begin the practical session today across the national
May 22, 2017
0
Some gendarmerie officers who were brought in from Kutaba in the West Region in the wake of the lawyers and teachers strikes to maintain law and
May 21, 2017
0
The Director General of the CRTV Charles Ndongo, has apologised to the French community for the false information that the well renowned 8:30pm TV
May 19, 2017
0
Dockers at the Douala Sea Port has vowed to ground activities at the port till further notice, if President Paul Biya does not intervene and resolve
May 17, 2017
0
Anglophone teachers in Yaounde say they are not marking the Government Common Entrance Exams. The disgruntled teachers complain that marking dues
May 17, 2017
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A famous Nkambe trader yesterday morning lost his vehicle and his trusted driver to a deathly car crash on the Nkambe-Ako road in Donga/Mantung

Headlines On Anglophone Newspapers

Showbiz / Music

April 13, 2017
0
Comedian Charlie Murphy, a performer on “Chappelle’s Show” and Eddie Murphy’s older brother, has died at the age of 57. Murphy died on Wednesday
April 04, 2017
0
Fai Bawe Henry, a 71 year retired civil servant who seemingly partied hard in his youthful days, yesterday 3 April joint the rest of the world in
March 01, 2017
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February 28, 2016, NEW YORK, NY -- To commemorate the final day of Black History Month, Lorine Chia has partnered with Afropunk to premiere her
December 02, 2016
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If you’re a single young African woman, there’s one question that you’ve come to dread. It comes up at family functions, social events and random
October 29, 2016
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The performance stage of the 2016 All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, will come alive on Sunday, November 6 at Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos in Nigeria
October 23, 2016
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Africa’s Starboy Wizkid picked the Artist of the Year, Best Male and Best Collaboration awards at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards on Saturday night

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Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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