On 06 October 2016, the Anglophone lawyers are said to have written a letter to the government to protest the use of the French language in the court houses of the North West and south West Regions of Cameroon. While waiting for the government’s response they took to the streets in a protest which resulted in the brutal neutralisation of the protesters and the tearing of the robes of some lawyers.
Later, teachers joined the strike to make their voices heard concerning the anglophone system of education. This was followed by other groups of persons boiling with anger due to the beating of students and some persons who had nothing to do with the protest. Other groups joined, in protest of the way the matter was handled by the forces of law and order and the military that tried to arrest the situation. Politicians, religious organisations, the civil society, schools and universities got involved. The various declarations in the media amongst which those that refuted the existence of the anglophone problem ignited more anger among segments of the population. The resulting effect was the generalisation of the strike which became a crisis.
The various media outlets ranging from the traditional such as television, the radio, to the new media such as the internet, the social media etc. amplified the cause either for the government or for the freedom fighters depending on their agendas. This caused an untold escalation at the detriment of the Cameroonian population both in the cities and the rural areas leading to the displacement of persons.
Numerous houses were burnt down, plantations destroyed, government buildings set ablaze thus depriving the population and the government of the most needed shelter, social facilities such as health centers, hospitals, schools. As if that was not enough, people were kidnapped, and ransoms requested. Some were killed in situations where they could not produce the money requested. This resulted in the displacement of the population from their villages or cities to other places in search of security and shelter.
Aside of cameroonians who fled to neighbouring countries, thousands of citizens relocated in safer cities especaially in the francophone areas like Douala, Yaounde,Bafoussam,Loum, Nkongsamba. Available statistics from credible sources indicate startling revelations of the numbers ofUnited Nations Office for the coordination of humanitarian Affairs(UN OCHA) and UNICEF explain that in 2017, about 437000 persons were displaced from the North West and South West Regions of cameroon. 430 000 persons in 2018 and about 500 000 persons in 2019.
The Government’s commitment to peace isthe cases in point are its call to drop arms, school resumption,the return of displaced persons to their homes,the admission of anglophone students into schools in the francophone zones. Top on the list is the Major National Dialogue which granted the two anglophones Regions a special status.
In conclusion, whatever the stance for the government and or the populations, one thing stands clear and tall:Cameroonians are vying for peace which is a must for stability and the development of humanity.
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