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Cameroon: Anglophones still waiting on ‘Special Status’ one year after Major National Dialogue

It has already been one year since delegates from across the ten regions of Cameroon as well as the diaspora converged on the Yaounde Conference Centre for the Major National Dialogue.

The gathering which ran from September 30 to October 4 was provided a platform for Cameroonians to seek solutions to the long-drawn conflict in the North West and South West Regions.

Since the start of the crisis in 2016, voices have rising to call for Federation while others have picked up arms for outright independence though the regime in place has not shifted stance on decentralisation.

Thus the Major National Dialogue was an opportunity to iron out these differences as delegates brainstormed on the best outcome for the nation.

One of the key recommendations of the Major National Dialogue was the according of the ‘Special Status’ to the North West and South West Regions to enable this part of the country better manage their affairs.

One year on, what has become of the much-heralded ‘Special Status’? The answer is still blowing in the wind but the government can be quick to point out that it is still at the implementation phase.

Immediately after the end of the Major National Dialogue, parliament immediately swung into action during its November session to examine and adopt the bill to institute the Code of Regional and Local Authorities while it was promulgated into law on December 24, 2019 by the Head of State.

The stage was now set for the February 9 Legislative and especially the Municipal elections which were highly contested than ever before in the 360 councils across the country.  This saw the introduction of City Mayor, who are accountable to the councilors who voted him in- a great step to hand more powers to councils to manage their affairs.

The December 6 Regional elections is expected to complete the process and usher in the much-awaited special status which was sold to Anglophones as the magic wand.

 


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Published on 28.04.2020

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