Peace and Conflict Monitor

Celebrating 44 Years of Cameroon's Unification: Has it Succeeded?
Elie Smith
June 07, 2007

Cameroon is a West African state, as far as English-speaking Cameroonians are concern, but to their French-speaking counterparts, their country is located in the centre of Africa (1).

This squabble over the geographic location of Cameroon says it all on the dichotomy that exists in a country also known as miniature Africa, mainly amongst its citizens.

Geographic disputes on the proper location of Cameroon are just a tip of the iceberg on the profound misgivings in a nation that remains strongly divided along colonially inherited cultures and languages.

To the majority, Cameroon got her independence on January 1st 1960 from France, while the minority English-speaking, they got their own on a more complex agreement on October 1 st 1961 from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Experts on constitutional matters are still giving conflicting conclusions as to whether it is plausible to admit that, the people of both North and South British Cameroon's were granted independence based on the options offered them by the United Nations and approved by Britain.

Even though Cameroon was celebrating the 44th anniversary of it unification on October 1st 2005, there were no exceptional signs of this great day, especially in the French-speaking part of the country.

On the other hand, in the English-speaking part of Cameroon, it was a mournful face put on by those who think of October 1 st that would have been their independence day, as a day of their third colonisation, but this time around, by an African country they considered their 'brother'.

To the youths on both sides of the linguistic divide, the situation was not much different; the French-speaking youths in their majority consider unification as a fait accompli and are more preoccupied with other daily travails.

While the English-speaking youths were highly interested in the 44th anniversary of the unification day, nevertheless with different reasons, they spend time heaping blames on their parents and on English-speaking politicians for having brought them to a promise land, which has in their opinion tend out to be hell.

However, the highly militant posture put out by large wave of English-speaking youths against the unity of their country is a real preoccupation to the authorities in Yaoundé that would have wanted a different mood.

The increasing agitation of English-speaking youths against the unity between the majority French-speaking and the minority English-speaking part of their country puts in uncertainty the future of Cameroon as a single nation.

Perhaps the continuous nose dive of the economy of the country could be one of the root causes behind the increasing clamour against the unity of their country coming chiefly from English-speaking youths.

Geography, People, Religion and Economy

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