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« How an Idyllic Transfer of Power Turned Sour (II): The Ahidjo Biya Honeymoon Ends in Acrimony and Blood | Main | Bushfallers: How Cameroonians Live in the Diaspora »

November 10, 2006

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paolo  laurent

you have no power to speak.
AS A COLONY OF ANOTHER AFRICAN STATE
SOUTHERN CAMEROONS,HAVE NO VOICE, WHEN ALL THE POWER TO RULE IN UPON THE SHOULD OF THE OCCUPATION GOVERNMENT OF CAMEROUN.
THEY OWNS THEIR GOVERNMENT, THEIR GERDANE
THE POLICE AND MILITARY, THEY DO AS THEY WISH AND GIVE NO DAMN AS TO REASONING AND
THE RULE OF LAW. WHAT ABOUT THE COMPLETE
FRENCHIFICATION OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONS, YOU DONT SEE THESE AS A GENOCIDE?
WHAT WHAT THE NAME CHANGING OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONS HISTORICAL TOWNS AND PLACES(VICTORIA), FOR EXAMPLE, THE LONE UNIVERSITY, HAVE NO SOUTHERN CAMEROONS PRESIDENT, BUTA SOO CALLED VICE CHANCELLOR ,WHO TAKES ORDERS FROM THE REAL CHANCELOR .WHO IS IN YAONDE, BLACK FRENCHMAN.
WHAT ABOU THE COMPLETE EXPLOITATION, SEXUALLY, ECONOMICALLY, ETC OF 6.5M SOUTHERN CAMEROONIANS, DONT YOU SEE IT AS A CRIME?
WHEN A BAMENDA MAN LIKE YOU MR VAKUNTA IN 2006 STILL SPEAKS OF CAMEROON AS ITS JUST ONE COUNTRY, IT EITHER MEANS HES BLIND AND DEAF OR HES JUST INTELLECTUALLY OBSTINATE. TO THAT FACT THAT CAMEROUN AS A NATION JUST DOENT EXIST ANY MORE. THE UNION FAILED LONG AGAO AND ENGLISH CULTURED SOUTHERN CAMEROONIANS HAVE RE AFFIRM THEIR IDENTITY AS SOUTHERN CAMEROONIANS/AMBAZONIANS AND NOT CAMEROUNIAN AS YOU WRITE, THATS THE IDENTITY WE WANT TO PASS ON TO OUR CHILDREN ,NOT YOUR TYPE OF CAMEROUN SIR.

Benny T.

Paolo,

Are you having a laugh? Seriously, are you taking the piss? Because if you are, it's not at all funny.

Although I agree with most of what Peter said in his article, his overall logic is at times problematic. At one point, he bemoans the lack of a single indigenous language as our national language. OK, I'll play. Say there's a national consensus, and Hausa is chosen as Cameroon's national language. How would that make life better for the grown Anglophone (for example) who, instead of seeing "Halte Peage" on a sign in his neighbourhood, now sees something in Hausa? How would that benefit the Anglophone sitting exams in Hausa? You see, while in theory the idea of Cameroon having an indigenous language sounds great, unless you're asking the government to create a language from scratch that everybody adopts, with our ethnic spread and accompanying number of languages, whatever indigenous language we adopt will be a problem for most of the people. It might well be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Not to mention further isolating ourselves from the rest of the world.

That being said, I'm wholeheartedly with the article in feeling disgust at the attempt at further marginalising Anglophones through the use of French. It is very painful to witness, very hard to live with, and something must be done about it. But, in a twisted kind of way, isn't that an attempt at solving one of the points that the article also raised in its first half? I quote: "it is hard to believe that there is no reliable national language policy in Cameroon."

OK, OK, that was qualified by the mention of the fact that most African countries have a single indigenous language as their national language but, barring the fact that French is not an indigenous Cameroonian language, couldn't the "Frenchifying" of all of the country be seen as somebody's attempt at some kind of a national language policy? Oh, and by the way, almost all Africa have as their national languages either French, English, or Portuguese.

I think French and English would still be best as national languages, with each treated with respect. we'd still look like a two-headed language monster to the rest of Africa, though. If we decide to go our merry Anglophone way, I would still opt for English because it would be the one unifying factor linguistically.

Overall, I was moved by the Anglophone plight, but didn't think all the points raised belonged in the same piece.

Ma Mary

The marriage between the two Cameroons is sexless. The ex british southern Cameroons goes to its internal bathroom, fantasizes and performs intellectual, feel good masturbation enjoyed only by themselves. When the so called anglophone intellectuals are crying out, it is clear that they are not engaging the francophonies. It is very clear that this is a loveless marriage that needs the solution of divorce. There is no passion in it, yet not once does Vakunta mention divorce. Who is fooling whom?

Che Sunday

Cameroon is not alone in this absence of a local or national linguistic identity.Nigeria's nobel lauriet, Wole Soyinka even went as far as calling for a lingua franca for Africa. That was stretching the envelop. In the case of Cameroon, one could say there is some silver lining in racism. Under German occupation, its thinking, together with its attitude towards colonialism, gave them reason to encourage the use of local languages. They did not believe that non Germans, especially Africans were smart enough to study German and be of use to Germany. Though, the advent of war sort of threw a damper on this ideology, they wanted to preserve Germany for Germans.
So, they thought of limiting the local influence within the territories they occupied.In the Northwest for example, the tribe that accepted German occupation without resistance (Bali) had its language adopted for use in schools and religious studies. Mungaka became a standard local language used in pesbyterian schools. This is also reflected in the nomenclature of towns in the North West. Serving as guides to the Germans, every town in the North West had its name begining with the letters "Ba" which in Bali denotes "the people of". Nkwen became Bafreng, Bufeh became Bafut, Mbu-eh became Bambui, mberekoh became Bagangu etc. Its my understanding that in and around Douala, one of the local languages was also used extensively.
Going back to Vakunta's argument that a language, no matter the extent to which it is applicable should be left alone and respected, one wonders why a national language is needed? Which of the over 2000 languages in use in the country will want to play second fiddle? See what French and English have done to us. We have developed a type-casting system' (anglophone/francophone) which goes beyond a linguistic nomenclature. Its more of a discriminating apparatus, than just a name.
We have gorrilas and chimpazees running around in government ministries and will not speak to you unless you speak in French. Speak English at the airport and your luggage is singled out for further scrutiny. Look at your embassies and you will be apalled at the number of non English speaking ambassadors serving in English speaking countries. Can you imagine the Canadian ambassador in Washington D.C not being able to speak English.
There is a faction of English speaking cameroonians who don't speak English well enough to claim the language as a mother tongue, but are willing to go to war to create an enclave of theirs based on a false English identity.Cameroon has an identity complex, a national language from its local collection will do nothing to ulter the situation.
Its a shame.

PAOLO  LAURENT

THE SOLUTION IS FOR A COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE
FOR SOUTHERN CAMEROONS, SOO, 6.5M AFRICANS CAN AGAIN LIVE FREELY ON THEIR ANCESTRAL LAND AND PRACTISE THEIR ANGLOSAXON CULTURE
WITHOUT FEAR OR SHAME,AS EVERY ONE IN THE WORLD. THEY HAVE THIS RIGHT.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS WHAT SOUTHERN CAMEROONS
PRACTISE,AND IT MUST BE THEIRS TO DEFEND TILL DEATH.SINCE THEY ARE NOT RECOGNISE AS CITIZENS OF CAMEROUN IN THIS COUNTRYS CONSTITUTION.

Ma Mary

Che Sunday still has lack of understanding of this Southern Cameroons issue. It is not a primary language issue sir, even if language is part of it. It is international law. It is agreements broken. It is annexation. It is not a good governance issue although bad governance helps to highlight it. It is not a bunch of Cameroonians trying to promote a language that they cannot speak well. It is about a territory, a country that includes people who can speak neither English nor French nor German nor Hausa nor Swahili. Why is that so difficult to understand, or do you have some kind of understanding with the colonizer?

SJ

People of bad faith and /or igonorance will always dance around the pertinent issue.

Some of our brothers and sisters of the Southern Cameroons have become the slaves Harriet Taubman wished she could have saved when she offered this regret:

"I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves."

I am happy that the Ma Marys of the world will not give up trying to convince the other "thousand more" Southern Cameroonians who are still in denial.

Che Sunday

Ma Mary,
Do not single out a line in a post and try to make an issue out of it. If you must be semantic, let me ask you one question. Don't try to answer in haste. Do you think the magnitude of marginalization would be the same if on re-unification, Southern Cameroon decided to debunk English and adopted French? Just food for thought.
Why do you think there was no animosity between the regions when the portuguese named the country Cameroon and gave over to the Germans?
If there is a South Westerner out there, please help me out with this one. I understand that either the name Bakweri or Bayange means "they don't like us." This is in reference to the relationship between them and their neighbors. I don't think this is a reference to a Francophone. Before World I, we were a single nation under Germany. After the war, we got divided and both Britian and France got us so indoctrinated and we became so Eurocentric that we are incapable of finding our own identity. The French became so French that France became "chez nous" or home to them. Everything British to us marked the very best there is. I recall very vividly how some of us decried the establishment of the Cameroon GCE. Those so nostalgic about the old system believed that no overseas institution will ever recognize the Cameroon GCE. Guess how correct they were!Today, we have the University of Buea and are so at home refering to it as structured in line with the "anglo Saxon tradition, yet, it is infested by frauds all the way to its administrative apparatus. I wonder if that is an anglo-saxon tradition? So don't tell me language has nothing to do with the Southern Cameroon problem or that I do not understand it.
Which came first, a united Cameroon under Germany, or a united Cameroon at independence? Some historical neophytes keep using the word annexation as if an independent nation has been occupied by another nation. Your leaders were so ill-equipped that they did not press for independent nation status from the United Nations. If they had any spine, they should have rejected the plebicite and remained adamant on being a nation state. They didn't.The plebicite was not conducted by Francophone Cameroon. In fact a good percentage of Francophone Cameroon did not want re-unification either. If Francophone Cameroon were allowed to vote on the same issue as to whether they will want us joining with them, they would have rejected us. It was Ahidjo who wanted his Northern brothers to come back to the fold, but they rejected him and went with Nigeria. We sheepishly did what we were instructed to do by short-sighted leadership. Need I say more?

Ambe Johnson

Che Sunday,

Up until this point, I have generally shared your views although I find them a little out of touch with reality. With this latest rejoinder you have eloquently shed light on why you are out of step with the spirit of the times - ignorance and a complete lack of mastery of Cameroon history is the root of the problem.

The Portugese did not control a country called Cameroon. In fact, there was no country named Cameroon when the Portuguese traded on the Cameroon coast. Portuguese merchants names the River Wouri estuary Rios de Camaroes and had no contact with what will today constitute the Cameroonian interior.

When the German arrived about a century later (no, the Portuguese did not "hand over" anything to the Germans. Infact there was no Portuguese-German contact in Cameroon in the 1880s.

Also,this issue about a "single nation" before WWI is another myth peddled by Pan Kamerunist (Hey! every nation needs a "story" to bind its people together...). For your information. Different parts of Cameroon were "pacified" by the Germans at different periods. In fact, up until the outbreak of WWWI the Germans were still trying to make their occupation of certain parts of Cameroon a reality. And by the time they were kicked out, there was absolutely no sense of nationhood or oneness. That will come in mainly during and after WWII under the British and the French.

YOu ask: "Which came first, a united Cameroon under Germany, or a united Cameroon at independence?"

I will answer you categorically that a united Cameroon at Independence. Kamerun was nothing but a huge swath of colonial territory mapped out for Germany at the Berlin colonial conference and on which the Germans were still trying to apply the principle of uti possidetis and transform their occupation into reality and 20 years later. As for the peoples in this territory,they knew little if anything about each other; the guy in Mora didn't even know that a tribe called Douala existed to even begin to form a common identity.

Che Sunday you are indeed a product of the doctrinaire and ideological educational system in Cameroon which does not allow you to think on your own, to go beyond official dogma to come up with the kind of original history that we have read on this site.

And that is a tragedy indeed...

Che Sunday

Mr. Ambe,
I hope you don't honestly believe, or is insinuating that the territory called "Kameroun" under German control was imaginary and never really existed? If that is the case, then we are experts at trying to leave a legacy of lies to our offsprings.
The portuguese named the Wouri river (Rio dos Cameros) or a river of crabs or prawns. The country got its name from there. Fernanda Po was a Portuguese kicked off mainland Cameroon by the Germans. He settled on the Island which is today part of Equatorial Guinea. He was trying to get the territory remain Portugues. The Germans did not have to sign a treaty with portuguese traders to take over the territory as already apportioned to them in the partitioning of Africa by European powers.
Sir, just because a nation had not fully been brought under the control of a colonizing entity does not invalidate the existence of the nation in question. Yes, the Germans were still struggling to pacify certain sections of the country even as late as 1884-89. Will you say therefore that those sections of the country that resisted German occupation were not part of the territory called Kameroun?
Remember, at our deliberation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)with Nigeria over the Bakasi Islands, some of the documents in consultation came from German archives.
God forbid that I underestimate the degree to which Cameroon has been abused administratively, or to down play the misery metted out to her citizens. That said, I refuse to get on the band wagon of a self serving mentality that purports the creation of a Southern Cameroon nation based on grounds of marginalization.Before re-unification, the Igbos took us for granted. The British gave us nothing to thank them for. All our road infrastruture, though not worth writing home about were built by the Germans. From the Bamenda ring road to Bamenda Manfe and Mamfe Kumba. If the Germans were not running a nation State, what were they building roads on? CDC which was incorporated as a state owned agro industry by the British was property of individual German farmers. You still want to state your case again that there was no true nation state encompassing the territory we call today Cameroon?
Finally, sir, it is not a criterion in the demarcation of the boundaries of a nation to have its people(s) know who is on the other side of the forest or mountain. Just because we were, and still are far-flung from each other has no bearing whatsoever in how the Europeans grouped us as nations.

Ndiks

Ma Mary,and Ambe,thanks for trimming the Codswallop spewed by the the high binding PHD holder Sunday.We will not allow quislings to contort facts.Sunday should go bring back CHAD;CAR;CONGO BRAZZA;GABON,they were all part of Kamerun.Some Doctors can lead people down the garden part.And even insulted Ambazonians as people who don't know English but wanting independecce. Hubris.

SJ

The claim to nationhood of the Southern Cameroons is based on the political reality that has invalidated the USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia and others as unified nation-states. Talk of marginalisation, language, Igbo domination and today French domination is a political reality created by injustices that we of the Southern Cameroons struggle are determined to end. It is a direct result of the denial to the people of the Southern Cameroons what was given to countries in Europe rescued from Hitler's colonial occupation--political independence. This led directly to to creation of of the UN and Trust Territories to end colonistion once and for all by those countries like France, Belgium and Britain that had themselves been under the colonial assault and expansionist schemes of Germany. The Southern Cameroons was one such Trust Territory.

British neglect and Igbo domination notwithstanding, we were one such Trust Territory like many other accross the world. The fact that we have multiple tribes and bigots within these tribes that seek to incite ethnic sensibilities like Sunday Che is neither here or there. It takes nothing from the political, legal and intellectual impulse behind the Southern Cameroons struggle for justice and independence. As a Trust Territory our destiny as a people and a nation is independence. The Che Sundays of the world with their appeal to tribal sensibilities viz. his invocation of the Bakweris and Bayanges; like the Buthulezis of South Africa with similar appeal to tribal sensibilities end up on the wrong side of events.

Ma Mary

Che Sunday.

Your accepted facts are actually myths Ahidjo's machine created. Its no fault of yours. I too received the same crap as a young person. The victors once had the monopoly of means to communicate the facts to the populace. The real freedom fighters in la Republique were called Maquisards and demonized by Ahidjo. Now we know better. There is so much in this website and by the commentators. Those with power and money no longer have a monopoly to delivering information and the truth is coming out. Unfortunately you have emotionally attached your identity to the propaganda. Wake up. You are an intelligent man.

It is a legitimate impulse to try to rescue the union between la republique and Southern Cameroons, but you guys on that side are basing your arguments on mythology that was appealing in the 1970s, but only induces nausea today. Please STOP. Go to the postonline and read the comments of an individual who goes by the sobriquet of Riccardo. You sound like that when you go into these pseudopatriotic diatribes.

There is absolutely no possibility of reconciliation without truth telling and apology and retreat by the backsliding, annexationist, french neocolony of la Republique du Cameroun.

Ma Mary

FROM PERU: INDIGENOUS RESPONSE TO EUROCENTRIC ARROGANCE:

Iberia in Peru 'prejudice' case
By Dan Collyns
BBC News, Lima

The Peruvian Congress has made a formal complaint against Spanish airline Iberia after it allegedly discriminated against two indigenous congresswomen.

Maria Sumire and Hilaria Supa say staff prevented them from boarding a plane to Madrid on Saturday while allowing other passengers to go in front of them.

The women - who speak the indigenous language Quechua as their mother tongue - say staff mocked their Spanish.

A spokesman for the airline has denied any discrimination took place.

The women, who were both dressed in clothing typical of women from the Andean region of Peru, said staff told them the plane was full despite the fact they held reserved seats.

Ms Sumire said that when she complained - showing her diplomatic passport - the staff mocked the way she spoke Spanish, telling her she could complain to whoever she liked.

'Insulted'

Indignant at her treatment, she said if they as congresswomen were treated this way in their own country, how much worse must it be for fellow indigenous Quechua-speaking Peruvians.

A spokesman for Iberia denied any form of discrimination, saying they arrived after all the seats on the plane had been filled.

But the president of Peru's Congress, Mercedes Cabanillas, has made a formal complaint against the airline to the Spanish ambassador in Peru.

She said Congress felt insulted that two of its representatives had been discriminated against and it would not be tolerated.

Earlier this year, the two women made headlines in Peru and abroad when they announced they would only speak their mother tongue of Quechua in the Peruvian Congress.

One of the nation's official languages, Quechua is spoken by almost a quarter of Peruvians.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/6189936.stm

Published: 2006/11/27 22:16:16 GMT
PS:
Like most corporate entities, they do not offer apologies when they are due and reexamine and change attitudes and policies. No, they hedge, hem and haw.

PAOLO  LAURENT

che sunday.
writes i dont just seem to buy into the barn wagon of those attempting to astablish
southern cameroons state due to marginalization.

che, remember. the name (SOUTHERN CAMEROONS) HAVE BEEN IN HISTORY SINCE 1959.
CAMEROUN , the state , you envision as
beeing an entity of SOUTHERN CAMEROONS,
NEVER HAD BEEN PART OR PARTY TO SOUTHERN CAMEROONS, BOTH HAD DISTINCT HISTORY.
I DONT NEED TO ELABORATE, SOO, IF SEEKING
INDEPENDENCE ONLY ON MARGINALISATION, ISNT
ENOUGH AS YOU KIND OF SIMPLIFY IT. WHAT IS MORE?
SHOW US JUST ONE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
THAT HAD ACCEPTED TO QUIET GO ALONG WITH COLONIALIM/APARTHEID AS CAMEROUN STATE IS ENGAGE ON SOUTHERN CAMEROONS ,SINCE
1961? SHOW US WHICH COUNTRY HAVENT PICK UP ARMS TO FIGHT THE OPPRESSOR/OCCUPERS. .
FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THEIR OWN CITIZENS OF LA REPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN, PICKED UP ARMS AND FOUGHT THE COLONIZERS (FRENCH) ON
THEIR THEIR OWN LAND. NOW THEY HAVE HAD THE GUTS LARGE ENOUGH TO MAKE THEM SELVES
ILLEGAL MASTERS OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONS. AND YOU SAY WHAT>?

tanyitiku

this stuff is damn good. its necessary for all history students

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