Anglophone crisis: Restoration of Southern Cameroons is a misnomer

The Reunification monument constructed in 1973

As the Reunification of Cameroon turns 60 this October 1, 2021, focus in the English-speaking parts of Cameroon has been on a crisis that has plagued that part of the country for five years now.

While the government of Cameroon has been counting the steps covered since the convening of the Major National Dialogue in 2019 to arrest the armed conflict in the North West and South West regions, denizens of these regions have been clamouring for a truth and sincere Dialogue. Others say the resolutions taken in 2019 do not address the root causes of the anglophone crisis and problem.

Propagandist for secessionist have used words like restoration of independence to advance their need for a separate country.

Budi Raymond, PhD History 

In our quest to edify the public, The Observer wanted to know from Budi Raymond, (Doctor of Philosophy in History) if the term 'restoration' is apt in the case of the anglophone crisis.

"The use of the word 'restoration' is a misnomer. Southern Cameroons gained independence on CONDITION OF REUNIFICATION with former French Cameroon. In other words if they refused Reunification, they also refused Independence. That is the unfortunate situation Southern Cameroons found itself in, engendered by the conspiracy of Britain, France, the UN and Commonwealth interests" Dr. Budi told the  Observer.

A position held by History Professor, Victor Julius Ngoh who noted that Southern Cameroons occupied at most an autonomous status but was never an independent territory prior to reunifying with their brothers of French Cameroon.

Dr. Budi Raymond further says the Independence of Southern Cameroons was sealed by UN Resolution 1614 and 1641 of December 1960.

With regards to establishing the root causes of the problem for normalcy to return, Dr. Budi Raymond says; "I may not know of any root causes of the Anglophone Crisis, I know of a root cause. That root cause was attempts to supplant the Anglo-Saxon identity in Cameroon. Every other thing that looks like a cause is just the consequence of this process."

Prof Victor Julius Ngoh

In a workshop in Buea last September, Prof. Victor Julius Ngoh noted that marginalization of Anglophones led us to where we are today.

Many have looked back and asked for a return to Federation as the only way the Anglo-Saxon heritage can be preserved within a united Cameroon. Prof. Ngoh did not hesitate to remind them that "Southern Cameroons politicians were the ones who campaigned for the abolition of Federalism. Then Prime Minister Augustine Ngom Jua actually campaigned in Njinikom and Belo while ST Muna campaigned in Mbengwi.

West Cameroon Civil servants went for days without receiving their salaries. Salaries that were far less than that received by civil servants in East Cameroon." Prof. Ngoh highlighted.

Five years into a crisis that has been transformed into an armed struggle, no diplomatic mission has recognized the nation termed 'Ambazonia'. It has not featured as an item at the United Nations General Assembly or at the UN Security Council.

In prelude to this reunification anniversary, denizens of these two regions have gone for 16 days without commercial activities. Paralyzed by separatist fighters who claim it was a message sent to the United Nations. The lockdown was termed "Gueteress Lockdown" named after the UN Secretary General. 

On the official page of the UN, it is clearly stated  that; "the recognition of a new state or Government is an act that only other states and governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a state nor a government and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a state or a government."

Dr. Munja Vitalis, a political scientist at the University of Buea terms the inhabitants of the present North West and South West regions as 'orphans' as no one has come to their rescue.

From Amnesty International, no fewer than 3500 lives have been lost and about 100,000 persons have been displaced with the education sector being the hardest hit.

Therefore, those looking at the UN for some solution are looking at the wrong direction. It is time to bury our hatchet and move together as a people with a Cameroonian identity 


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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