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« Ngozi Adichie Wins 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction | Main | Cameroon: Why So Many Political Parties (207)? »

June 11, 2007

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Nga Adolph

"Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice"_Martin Luther King.

Come to think of this,when one takes a succinct look at the dynamics of peace in a country like Cameroon,it is the throwing of chaffs to the wind.There is a strange phenomenon going on down there.Its strange in that, when I am told that Cameroon is at peace,I feel the blood boil in me and the holistic cup overflows spilling its putrified liquor.Well,some will say am the devil_incarnate,who loves to see people gnashing out in springfuls of terror and anarchy.Why should a human being be angered at the thought of the word 'peace'?Is the word itself not a soothing thalidomide?'Le Cameroun est en paix',the haleluyah of government stooges bent on white washing and 'Pontius Pilating'their predatory hold on power and undermining a people because they are inherently peace loving,submissive and can easily be manipulated.
Yes,when the great wave of multipartism swept over Africa and Cameroon in the 1990's and the people toiled to join the bandwagon of freedom,a counter current swept in desperatly resisting with cries of 'Le Cameroun est en paix'and that multipartism was going to open the bile of civil strife.Working to deprive the people of their justice.Ofcourse the people knew that'le Cameroun est en paix' and they zeroed in with the whole country going up in flames.Responding to the natural and time honored theorem,"action speaks louder than words".They had their bid and palm wine flew.'Le Cameroun est en paix',seems to me a stick and carot gimmick to placate and blindfold the dehumanised and downtrodded people's.
Like the great pastor said,peace and justice are intrinsically bound.Come to think of this,for 25 years of rotted corruption,capital flight,putrified tribalism,nepotism,political asphyxia and a demoralised and perversed society,all we have is 'Le Cameroun est en paix' and a three time champion of Amnesty International's Corruption Percetion Index.Watch the Bulu boy,how he proudly portrays his peaceful diplomacy trophy,I mean ofcourse, the return of Bakassi to Cameroon.They have not stopped singing 'Assimba'to glorify His Superfluous excellency as if the people will start eating three square meals a day.
And the head strong Southern Cameroonians with their secession bid have caused the choir masters of 'Le Cameroun est en paix'to develop sore throat these days.A sore throat they will have to bare with for as long as the Southern Cameroonians will remain under the yoke of alien rule.
Come to think of this,is 'Le Cameroun est en paix' not the requiem song of a society at the verge of a conflagration?'Le Cameroun est en paix' will probably be an apt satire for the calm before the storm.The clouds are gathering because the centre is eluding the Bulu boy as even within his 'Rassemblement'reformist voices of dissent are thundering and upsetting the stillness that characterised that 'Njangi' group for more than a quarter of a century.Which is making the lion man to go into a fit of madness preying on his own very bloody and corrupt protégés who have helped to milk the national cow.And confusion reigns in the palace as the circle of trustees gets smaller and smaller.The signs of things to come.
Come to think of it,when it shall be time for the Bulu boy to bid farewell to 'mes compatriotes'or shall he change the terms in the legal book in another 'constitutional evolution'.The fulani boys are already becoming restless for sometime now.Didn't their sanguine brother remain in the palace only for 22 years and didn't he insist on the terms of the secret deal?But the Bulu boy knows that some of his own brothers are secretly rubbing their palms,waiting their turn to drink from the fountain of power.Wouldn't like to be in his shoes which by now should be paining at all angles.Power that has been wielded for too long in dictatorial robes often reposes on the shoulders of people with vested interests.And these shall make their voices heard(or are they already doing so?)when they shall feel threatened like a cobra that turns on itself to prey.The signs are there for all to see.'Le Cameroun est en paix'maybe the last cries of a dying donkey whose master shoots down with a 45 millimetre Lee and Field because the donkey has outlived its usefulness.

Nga Adolph.
Leuveen(Belgium).

SJ

EDITORIAL - Last Updated:
Cameroon: Next for the Headlines?
Simon Stander

----------------------------------------
Sleeping on a bed of oil and divorced to multiple colonial powers, Paul Biya, the dictator of 25 years and counting, is one of only a few Cameroon worries. Needless to say, the country has plenty of the right ingredients for mayhem.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cameroon, a country of 16 million in West Africa, may jog the mind in a number of ways, depending on your interests. A plane crashed there after taking off in neighbouring Nigeria and 114 people died in the jungle. Though tragic it didn’t stir much debate about Cameroon itself. Watching Barcelona, there is the thrill not only of Ronaldhino but also of Samuel Eto’o, a key player in the Cameroon football side that has taken the African continent by storm. Recently scientists have set off to deepest Cameroon believing that they will find the source of HIV/Aids among a tribe of monkeys there. (So HIV wasn’t a CIA plot after all…) More significant than all these facts might be that sources have claimed that the country has the worst corruption and the worst dictator on earth. That is saying something given the levels of corruption and authoritarian regimes dotted round the globe. It looks, too, that the potential for conflict will lead to Cameroon replacing the Congo and Somalia as the site of the next conflict with the so-called international community likely to make things worse rather than better.

What will thrust Cameroon into the headlines? It is that deadly combination of ethic division, tribal and clan division, power hungry regime, oil and pipelines and with TNC oil companies and the World Bank, with its brand new head, Robert Zoellick, still to warm his bum on his Morocco-leather office chair.

This issue of the Peace and Conflict Monitor is a special edition that makes a plea to find ways of preventing what seems to be the very likely one of the next headlines. It looks as if we are due for prolonged and desperate spoliation of yet another piece of West Africa as we see already in the Niger Delta further west (to say nothing of the disturbances yet to emerge fully over the Bakasi Peninsula). We carry A Tale of Nationalism and Dissidence, Celebrating 44 Years of Cameroon's Unification: Has it Succeeded?, A Prevailing Movement, and New Anti-corruption Drive Leaves Many Sceptical.

Cameroon is a roughly triangular shaped country that reaches up from the Gulf of Guinea to the now oil rich but formerly arid lands in Chad. On the west is the massive country of Nigeria with its population almost ten times the size of Cameroon. It also has borders with Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Though natural resources and agriculture make Cameroon a potentially wealthy country, life expectation is around 50, half the population is below the poverty line and unemployment is over 30% and agricultural productivity is low.

Its colonial history makes it especially unstable. Originally colonised as part of the German scramble for Africa, it was ceded partly to the UK and partly to France the German Empire ws dismantled at the peace treaties after 1918. The dangerous legacy is that most of the resources are in the Anglophone region to the north west and south west. The government, however, is dominated by the more numerous francophones under the iron hand of Paul Biya and his coterie. As we report in this issue the record of human rights is worsening with the Anglophones suffering most. Foreign intervention is such that the French support the regime while the British stay clear with their hands full elsewhere such as Sierra Leone. The real danger lies with the recent injection of funds from the World Bank to build the pipeline from Chad to the sea to bring out, among others, Exxon-Mobil’s oil. A small per cent of the oil revenues are supposed to be returned to improve the communities in Cameroon as well as Chad. With the pipeline still not complete oil spills are causing local havoc much to the chagrin of the World Bank:

The World Bank continues to monitor the Cameroon oil spill to determine its causes, assess any immediate consequences and gain lessons to help improve preparedness in the future. On January 23 and 24 World Bank staff travelled to Kribi, Cameroon and its environs to contact government officials, officials with the Cameroon Oil Transport Co., local decision-makers, media, civil society leaders, and villagers. The Bank team also visited areas at sea and on land that might be affected by the spill, which occurred January 15 (2007).

Environmental watchers are concerned that the Cameroon are not likely to benefit nearly as much as promised and the World Bank intervention is, in effect, a subsidy to Exxon-Mobil, Elf and Shell:

International development assistance for two of the poorest countries in Africa could soon be used to support a project planned by big oil companies. An international consortium consisting of Exxon, Shell and ELF is planning a multibillion dollar oil exploitation project with serious environmental and social risks that many fear may create another Ogoniland, Nigeria's oil-producing region which has seen environmental devastation and brutal human rights violations. The project consists of the development of the Doba oil-fields in southern Chad, a landlocked nation, and a 600 mile pipeline through Cameroon to transport the oil to an Atlantic port from where it is exported.

What makes the project so potentially dangerous is that the Anglophones in Cameroon may welcome the English speaking US interests as saviours against their Francophone oppressors as the pipeline comes through their region of the country.

That deadly mix of oil deposits, pipelines, foreign TNC interests, high oil prices, sharp internal divisions, foreign intervention, corrupt government, greed and, amongst many other factors, a country where the median age is 18…plenty of young men and children to be recruited for potential “rebel” forces with 4,500 kilometres of leaky borders to escape across into half a dozen different countries, and small arms available at ten a penny.

If internal war breaks out in Cameroon it ill be generations before it is put right. Prevention is better than cure. Anyone got any ideas?

Simon Stander is Editor-in-Chief of the Peace and Conflict Monitor.

SJ

Those interested in the preceding piece should visit the UNIVERSITY OF PEACE (Peace & Conflict Monitor) expose on the Cameroons here: http://www.monitor.upeace.org/

Nga Adolph

Thank you SJ for Simon Stander's deep and incisive analyses of a potential civil strife in Cameroon.The post_Biya era shall be a difficult episode in the lives of Cameroonians whether we like it or not.Like I said,the storm is gathering.Many ignorant Cameroonians still doubt this because Cameroonians have always lived in a conflict_free society and ofcourse with abundant beer.But that's what I fear most.The ingredients for a potential civil war are now reunited.This is a clarion call.Anyone who believes that business will go on as usual particularly after the Biya era should be a certified paranoiac.The whole system has grounded to a halt.It will take only a supreme and on high miracle to reverse the tendency.Qui vivra verra.

Nga Adolph.
Leuven(Belgium).

Ma Mary

Great analyses all around. Allow me to kick it up a notch. When we run away from problems, when we live in denial they grow until they blow in cataclysmic fashion. Managing problems as they arise, anticipating them and engaging them actively can look like chaos but it is nothing compared to the chaos of the cataclysm.

The Cameroons have been thoroughly mismanaged, mostly with indifference. No, Adolph, it is not a conflict-free society, it is one frozen by fear for 4 decades, unable and unwilling to face its demons. It is a society that medicated itself with booze, so afraid after the terror unleashed by the French and Ahidjo. The unfortunate result will be another cataclysm.

Southern Cameroonians would do well to keep out of it. It is not our fight.

Nga Adolph

Ma Mary, you cannot be more correct when you say Southern Cameroonians should stay clear of the impending civil strife.We should hold steadfast and avoid being caught in the internal affaires of La Republique du Cameroun.We should totally disassociate ourselves from the impending crossfire that shall plunge that God_forsaken nation into the abyss of haedonis.The tinder that will set the flame ablaze will come from amongst them,contrary to what many people think.I have a dream that I know shall come to fruition and it is the fact that those Southern Cameroonians who are still running behind the Essingan njangi group whether by greed or cupidity or by sheer ignorance shall run back to the Southern Cameroons when things shall get off hand.And we shall only come in to pick the spoils.Qui vivra.

Nga Adolph,
Leuven(Belgium).

Nga Adolph

On a more lighter mood:Coconut President.

Once at a conference,three scientists;an American,a Belgian and a Cameroonian were talking and bragging about the technological advances their respective countries have achieved in the field of medicine.Says the American,"In Washington,there was a baby boy born without forearms,so we attached artificial forearms on him.And now that he is grown,he has become an Olympic boxer and a gold medalist!"
The Belgian replied,"That's nothing to what we have done back in Bruxelles,there was a baby girl born without legs on her,she is a 3 times marathon gold medalist in the Olympics!"
The Cameroonian interjected with a laughter,"Is that all you have done,just gold medalists?In Ngola,we had a baby boy born without a head.We attached a coconut to his neck and he is now the president".

Tayong

SJ and all

Something other than the topic in question caught my attentiuon in that Simon Stander's article. Americans in their utmost determination have worked day in and out to link AIDS to Africa and the black race. Mr Stander's article is an epitome of that argument. Here is a man who researches on conflict and conflict resolution picking on AIDS in monkeys in Cameroon( to drive home his message? ). Where is the logic and argument? Cameroon is where AIDS originated they suggest and believe!

This barbaric Alabama University concoction is what makes me mad. Hear him...."Recently scientists have set off to deepest Cameroon believing that they will find the source of HIV/Aids among a tribe of monkeys there. So HIV wasn’t a CIA plot after all.." Sir this isnt just a CIA plot but a "belt-curve like racial stigma to further victimise Africans and the black race.

What prompted the scientists to set off for Cameroon is still unexplained. Hear him again...."believing they will find HIV/aids among a tribe of monkeys there...." Of course scientific theories emanate from believes and when you believe without any proactive evidence before researching the outcome is simply your belief. Nonsense and rubbish altogether.

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Dear All,

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If you're a Cameroonian living in China your dreams of leaving a 'China legacy' is about to come into fruition. Be the first to shoot a CamMovie in China which meets international standards. Join at http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/cameroonmovie/. Or send an email to [email protected] or [email protected]

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M Nje

Nga Adolph; S.J. et al,

The article and comments above are very great for lack of a better phrase.

We, Southern Cameroonians, need to be preparing for the great moment that is predicted above. There is no doubt in my mind that the great fight for succession will come. Ivory Coast is a great example. It was once called a "peaceful" country. That is not the case today.

We need to have a strategy when that moment comes. This is the time for the leadership of Southern Cameroons advocacy groups to create alliances. We need to have friends who will stand to help us when an opportunity arrives. We must start our lobbying effort now.

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