‘The Force of Argument’ and the Fight for an Anglophone Identity in Cameroon
31 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 28, 2014
Cameroon is a country often described as an island of peace in Africa. This is true considering the fact that it has succeeded to achieve relative political stability and peace in a sub-Saharan Africa marked by political and civil unrests, as well as regional conflicts and terrorism. This peace and stability is at risk if adequate care is not taken to consolidate it. This paper is therefore designed to inform and contribute towards the consolidation of that peace. Recent developments in the English speaking parts of Cameroon (South and North West regions) have seen an increase in revandications from pressure and secessionist groups such as the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC), Cameroon Anglophone movement (CAM) and Southern Cameroons People Organization (SCAPO) crying of marginalization and discrimination, of Anglophones in all aspects of public life, risks erupting into an outright conflict. This paper thus argues that while some of these groups especially the SCNC has chosen to follow the path of nonviolence through their motto of ‘the force of argument not the argument of force’ in resolving the question of the Anglophone problem, there is a high risk that this nonviolent approach may be abandoned to that of a violent one if the Cameroon government continues to ignore the problem of the Anglophones and all the peaceful attempts these groups are advocating to solve it. This paper also stresses on the importance of peace and the use of nonviolent actions and techniques in solving conflicts. It also shows that there is an Anglophone problem and that Anglophones through different groups have been fighting the Cameroon government through different nonviolent actions, however because the Cameroon government is refusing to dialogue and find a peaceful solution to the problem, there is a risk that these groups can become more radicalized given the context of the security situation in Cameroon.
Keywords: Cameroon, Nonviolence, Peace, Southern Cameroon, Anglophone problem, the force of argument.
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation