The Anglophone problem in Cameroon

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The Anglophone problem in Cameroon

Type: Article / Letter to editor
Title: The Anglophone problem in Cameroon
Author: Konings, P.J.J.Nyamnjoh, F.B.
Journal Title: Journal of Modern African Studies
Issue: 2
Volume: 35
Start Page: 207
End Page: 229
Pages: 23
Issue Date: 1997
Keywords: Cameroon
Abstract: The root of the 'anglophone problem' in Cameroon may be traced back to 1961, when the political elites of two territories with different colonial legacies - one French and the other British - agreed on the formation of a federal State. Contrary to expectations, this did not provide for the equal partnership of both parties, let alone for the preservation of the cultural heritage and identity of each, but turned out to be merely a transitory phase to the total integration of the anglophone region into a strongly centralized, unitary State. Gradually, this created an anglophone consciousness: the feeling of being marginalized by the francophone-dominated State. In the wake of political liberalization in the early 1990s, anglophone interests came to be represented first and foremost by various associations and pressure groups that initially demanded a return to the federal State. It was only after the persistent refusal of the Biya government to discuss this scenario that secession became an overt option with mounting popularity. The government's determination to defend the unitary State by all available means, including repression, could lead to an escalation of anglophone demands past a point of no return. Notes, ref

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