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    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world!


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« Obama and Africa: Change and Changelessness in US Foreign Policy | Main | Barack Obama - Africa Has Not Yet Fulfilled its Potential »

January 29, 2009


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Dr A A Agbormbai

The security forces of Cameroon (military, police, and gendarmes) can be a potent weapon for positive and productive change in the country provided these forces recognise the key roles that they occupy in this process.

All too often Cameroon's security forces have been used, abused, taken advantage of, and exploited by top politicians to pursue their selfish ends. Yet patriotic and professional security forces all over the world defend the collective interests of their country's people.

They are not there as merely tools for unscrupulous politicians to use and abuse as they like. A patriotic, professional, and people-oriented security force will not take unreasonable actions against its own people, even if the orders to do so came from the highest authority of the land.

If I remember correctly, the people-oriented behaviour of the security forces of Russia, during its transition from communism to democracy, is a wonderful example to learn from, for all security forces of autocratic countries, or of half-democracies, who want to change to full democracies.

According to my memory, these security forces refused to use lethal force against demonstrating Russians when they were ordered to do so. They argued that their job is to protect the people of Russia against enemies of the state and not to destroy their own people.

Their actions not only averted widespread savagery and bloodshed, but helped the transition process into a democratic Russia.

The lesson here for Cameroon's security forces is that they have a duty to protect the Cameroonian people, regardless of whatever order they receive from selfish politicians.

If ordered to kill their own people, during peaceful demonstrations or in other cases where lethal force is unreasonable, they should ignore the order and recite their duty to protect the Cameroonian people.

A people-oriented Cameroonian security force is key to making a bloodless transition into a fully democratic Cameroonian state.

Cameroon's security forces should note that all over the world, the security forces of fully democratic countries are by far better equipped, better funded, better paid, stronger, and have greater morale than those of dictatorships or half-democracies.

This is because fully democratic nations unleash the creative and competitive energies of its people, and these make the nations more successful. With such success they can afford to pass the proceeds of the success to the security forces.

Therefore it is in the best interests of the Cameroonian security forces to assist in the full democratisation of the country, by not interfering with the political processes that lead to such democratisation (even when they are ordered to do so).

The Cameroonian security forces should ensure that they are on the right side of history by remembering their duty to the people of the country.

Samira Edi

This is heartbreaking. What a callous, incompetent and brutal government Cameroon has.


The French Cameroun seccurity forces were conceived by reactionary colonial French elements in the 1950s and 60s.

These French colonial elements laid the ground work and philosophy that continues to guide these so-called Cameroun security forces. They based their tutelage on their brutal experiences in Vietnam and Algeria where the concept of a security force was to impose and defend French colonial interests and occupation while brutalising and enslaving the native populations.

Many of the Frenchmen who carried out the training were actually also former French nazis who worked with and for the fascist Vichy regime. These depraved individuals enjoyed the responsiblity of erecting the security apparatus that brutally crushed French Cameroun's independence movement spearheaded by the UPC. These were the same elements that have been accused of having committed a genocide in that campaign against the UPC that dragged on to the 1970s. Their African partners like Semengue of Cameroun are on record taking pride in identifying themselves as "nous, les petits Francais", who were being trained to fight in Algeria.

These forces were never trained to do traditional policing or cater to the security and wellbeing of the native population. And absoulutely nothing has changed in the mindset and orientation of this so-called security force. They are in place to secure colonial previleges of France through the current puppet regime installed in 1960, ensuring the continued docility and enslavement of the native population with medieval brutality.

Ma Mary

The German military transformed after the second world war, because the old Nazi killing machine had to account for its actions. The french camerounese genocide machine of the 1960s has not accounted for its actions. These so called Cameroun security forces are the same ones who killed and tortured and operated concentration camps. The officers of this killing machine still live like Pashas of old India, lavishly provided for by the Camerounese government as a kind of bribe. The forces of today enjoy a direct and unbroken line from the genocide machine. Do you guys really think they understand the notion of accountability or working for the people? They are feudal overlords. If you have socialised the Camerounese military/police/gendarme/secret police establishment at the rank of Lt Colonel and above, you might understand the fascist and elitist content of their corporation. There are no Sankaras in that milieu.

Dr A A Agbormbai

It seems that to fix Cameroon we must transform almost all aspects of its French heritage into a more modern English-like culture, reflected in the top English-speaking countries of the world. This includes of course getting the country to speak more English. I am very confident that this can be achieved.


no mr agbor mbai.

you cannot transforn chad or gabon to a
more english cultured state, thats where
the solution, let french cameroun live
with itself, and british southern cameroons live with itself too. i mean total independence from from french cameroun, when the british cameroons erect a decent anglosaxon cultured government, that treats its citizens well, and manage its economy well, their neighbors to the left, i mean the french cameroun citizens will be pulse to overthrow, theur evil government,


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