Thousands of English speaking Cameroonians have taken to the streets again today September 22, asking for independence from French Cameroon.
The massive demonstrations going on currently in many towns and villages of the country’s English speaking regions is happening at a time when Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, was speaking at the United Nations General Assembly. Paul Biya was seen addressing a virtually empty hall and much to the surprise of many, he didn’t talk on the ongoing Anglophone crisis.
It is not clear on what actually irked the people into the streets but many placards on display this morning reveal that they are demanding for independence and are angry about neglect of the Anglophone part of the country by the French speaking establishment coupled with the threat of eliminating the Anglophone values.
Today’s demonstrations has been described as the first of its kind given that most cities in the two region seems to be involve. The Irate protesters as seen on many videos on social warned that their peaceful demonstrations can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
It should be recalled that the Governor of the Northwest region, yesterday September 21, signed an order prohibiting the movements of persons in the region. An order which demonstrators in Bamenda clearly defiled as men, women and children flooded the streets of the town brandishing cards of “enough is enough” messages.
This is not first time English speakers in the country are taking to the streets. For the past ten months, the two English-speaking regions of western Cameroon have risen up against a perceived decades-long assault by the Francophone elite on their language and British traditions, staging a campaign of general strikes, demonstrations and occasional riot.
Most of these protests have been pushed by a ruthless reaction from the government, characterised by the killing of protesters, arrest of activists and a two-month internet shutdown.
This time, pundits predict an imminent state of emergency and another internet ban in the regions as a potential government’s response to the protest. But this might only hardened English-speakers and deepen the crisis more, observer hold.