By Mua Patrick, December 7, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Southern Cameroonians resident in Houston, Texas, Monday December 5, braved the rains that began since Friday and turned out in their numbers to protest Cameroon Gov’t’s surreptitious annihilation of the Anglo-Saxon sub system in the country.
Ineptitude, police brutality and torture that has become associated with the regime, particularly against Anglophone Cameroonians.
The protest march was called to show solidarity with striking Common Law Lawyers, Teachers’ Unions and students who have been on a sit-in strike for almost a month. Congregating in front of the Federal Building on Smith St. down town Houston, the protesting Southern Cameroonians were unanimous that any change in Cameroon short of the pre-indepence status of 1961 when the two Cameroons united as sovereign states will not satisfy them. They condemned Biya’s regime Ineptitude, police brutality and torture that have become associated with the sit-in strike against Anglophone Cameroonians.
Speaker after speaker, including Chris Fobeneh, Publisher of The Cameroon Journal, outlined some of the injustices that have been meted against Anglophone Cameroonians by the Biya regime, pointing out that such cannot be tolerated any further. Amongst their grievances, they said that top administrative appointments in Southern Cameroons like the office of SDOs, Governors, Attorney Generals among others, are mostly Francophones who cannot communicate in the language of business in the two regions. They cited national corporations like SONARA WHICH though based in the Southwest region, pays taxes in Douala and an Anglophone has never been its General Manager. Limbe, they said, has a natural Seaport, but the gov’t of Biya chose to build other seaports in their part of the country neglecting the natural one in Limbe.
Chris Fobeneh, explaining the difference between Common Law and Civil Law as practice in
both territories, said the problem with the system is that Anglophones are sometimes transferred to Yaounde to face trial under civil law which doesn’t have jurisdiction over them. In the Northwest and Southwest, he said, Francophone Magistrates who have no working knowledge of Common Law are sent to preside over court cases – they deliver verdicts in French. That wasn’t the way the system was meant to be per 1961, he said. “We must send a message to our lawyers and teachers from Houston that we are all behind them and that they must not give-up till a return to a federal system or independence for Southern Cameroons is attained.” He said.
Elsewhere, Tuesday, in Cape Town, South Africa, nearly a hundred Cameroonians also took to the streets and protested against Anglophone marginalisation.
Like in Houston, the protest organisers said they were acting in solidarity and show of support to the ongoing lawyers and teachers indefinite strike action in Cameroon.
The protest took place at the Cameroon Consulate in Cape Town, the French and British diplomatic missions.
At the event, the Diaspora Cameroonians brandished placards calling for a halt to the marginalization of Anglophones and a demand to a return to the federal system in Cameroon.
“All Anglophone lawyers and educators, the Diaspora is with you for a federal Cameroon. Marginalisation must stop. Annexation of Anglophones must stop. Extinction of our Anglo-Saxon culture must stop,” read a message on the largest banner wielded during the march.
On November 25, Cameroonians in Brussels, Belgium staged a similar protest at the Cameroon High Commission calling for a respect of Anglophone values in the country.
Like in other protest rallies, the demonstrators wielded placards with messages revolving around the marginalization of Anglophones in Cameroon.
In London same day, Cameroonians also protested in front of the Cameroon High Commission at Holland Park.
Besides calling for a respect of the bi-cultural nature of Cameroon, the protesters called on the Cameroon government to put a halt to military brutality on civilians.
A Cameroonian who was at the London diplomatic mission to pick up his passport said he had to join the protest to express his discontent with poor governance back in the country.
The protesters in London also called on the UK government to shut down the embassy of Cameroon there to speed up the process of dialogue back home. They also expressed concerns over the fact that most workers at the Cameroon embassy in London speak only French.