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Cameroon:Parliament finally adopts controversial bill on bilingualism

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The National Assembly on Tuesday finally adopted the controversial law on the use and promotion of English and French as the two official languages.

The bill wwhich had been on the table of law makers two weeks ago was withdrawn for adjustment after an outcry from lawyers and civil society

But it was reintroduced and finally adopted on Tuesday with just slight changes notably on Article 26 (2) which states ‘Courts decisions shall be rendered in any of the official languages, depending on the choice of the litigant and the understanding of all present in court.’

However, various lawyers’ associations in the North West and South West Regions have described the bill as an attempt to ‘assimilate’ the English-speaking minority in Cameroon.

However, the Minister of Arts and Culture Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt said after the adoption that the bill is the outcome of one of the main resolutions of the Major National Dialogue and will help strengthen the country’s bilingualism.

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