9, January 2019
History defines us. Perhaps it is the only thing we truly own. Embrace it, own it. Mend it where it was once broken, enlighten it where it was once misguided, for what you are this minute isn’t what you were only a minute ago.
For peace to return to Cameroon, Anglophones and Francophones must first realise that at one point, they shared a common history, under German Cameroon. But like a river that splits into two courses at some point, they broke off only to be joint later downstream. This is not disputed.
What is disputed is the fact that during this separate journeys, each of them acquired new and separate experiences on their independent courses, perhaps new streams flowed into them, they flowed through new landscapes acquiring new flavours, visited different places with different sunsets and sunrises, making new friends and partnerships. Though they later became one again at the new confluence further downstream, they were essentially different by now; chemically, physically, in what they now know and have seen and experienced, where they have been, and enriched by new and different life principles and values.
The Francophone led leadership in Yaounde must realise and appreciate this difference, which they haven’t for over five decades. They can’t erode a people’s culture with guns, regardless of how that culture was acquired, for the effects of colonialism are an integral part of our history that we can never run away from. As sad as it is. The mass killings in Anglophone Cameroon must be brought to a stop via a political solution of inclusive dialogue without any precondition. In essence, the two Cameroons have to revisit the Fumban drawing board.
Peace can’t be achieved simply because the government that caused the problem in the first place is asking separatists fighters to put down their arms, because the government didn’t buy them the guns. You can’t ask a revolting people to stop revolting without proposing a tractable solution to their grievances, you can’t do so either by threat of the gun to which they have become accustomed. And you can’t eradicate someone’s family and expect them to love you, live with you, dine with you and laugh with you as if you are best friends. Worse, trust you.
What the Cameroonian government is doing to the Anglophones in Cameroon is criminal, calling them terrorists and all. Citizens can’t step out in the streets to protest for legitimate reasons and you turn your big guns on them, guns bought with their money, money from all the natural resources that are being wantonly exploited in their backyard.
It is this stupidity, lack of vision and diplomacy that sparked the wrath of the Anglophone Cameroonians, now operating under the name of the separate state called, Ambazonia, to retaliate and sought to protect themselves. The Francophone leadership in Yaounde without thinking, joyfully declared outright war against the 8 million Anglophones, add or take, by calling them terrorists, as the most parsimonious way of solving the differences.
The same regime once said when Yaounde is breathing Cameroon is alive when the Anglophone regions were in strife. The same regime at one time or another, called Anglophones enemies in the house. And at the onset of the present conflict, the Francophone led national assembly refused to discuss the problem because Anglophones are supposed to tow the line quietly. How much provocation should a people be subjected to before they break? Even a fool, under these circumstances, is bound to revolt at some point. This is the point where we are unfortunately at now.
No happily married man or woman would deliberately destroy a gratifying union, except they have lost their minds to the devil. Marriages only fall apart because of discontent and an accompanying inability to mend the problem.
Source: Not available