An Open Letter to the Anglophone Diaspora 0

October 5, 2017.

Dear Fellow Anglophones:

I know you are still shocked by the scale of what happened on October 1, 2017, in our beloved country. It is unfortunate, indeed revolting, that such disproportionate force had been used on armless and peaceful demonstrators. We wish other methods could have been used to resolve the issues that have pitted the English-speaking minority against a government that has decided to bring death and destruction to its own people. My heart really bleeds for the families that have lost loved ones and those who have been physically and psychologically scarred.

Of course, it will be hard to forget such ferocious brutality and I know your minds are full of revenge. I clearly understand your pain and your pain is clearly mine. We never chose to be Anglophones. We were born in West Cameroon by our parents who were made Anglophones by the United Nations against their will. It was never their choice. It was an imposition that has hurt us for more than five decades and if proper measures are not taken, it will hurt future generations. But revenge has never really addressed any issues. A progressive people never really focus on the negative side of things. Progressive people will always stick to the positive side in order to come up with new and innovative ways that will help to cushion the impact of any disaster that has befallen them.

Our people are in dire straits and this is the time they need some consolation from us. I know a lot has been published about Sunday’s violence, but talking and writing will not address all the issues. We currently have many people lying in hospitals across West Cameroon and I know many people want to help. This is a great moment for us to further tell the world that we are united for a purpose and that the slogan – one-for-all and all-for-one – is real.

To this end, we should immediately set up a Gofundme for those who are in agony in our hospitals. Our minds are full of the milk of human kindness. Let us share that milk with those who are struggling to save their lives in our hospitals. Of course, we will not always agree on many things, but when we disagree, we should avoid to bedisagreeable. Issues of money can easily split people, but since we know why we are raising these funds, we should go ahead and do it in a way that will portray us as a constructive people.

However, be mindful that there will be detractors who may use this opportunity to split us, but we must stick together as a people with a common objective. We may not be able to repair the damage done to the bodies of our brothers and sisters by the bullets sprayed by the country’s military, but we can make them and their families know that we can be there for them in their darkest moment.

The last time I checked, we are over two million abroad and if each of us chips in just a dollar, we will be able to pay for hospitalization, medication and a little gift for those of our brothers and sisters whose lives are hanging by the thread in our hospitals back home. There is power in numbers, let us make the most of our numbers. I have no illusions that some people will not contribute, as they don’t agree with what our brothers back home have been doing. Some of us are still in denial of the marginalization that has been ours for more than five decades. I will urge those who believe in this cause which is designed to right the wrongs of the past to be tolerant of their views. We must understand that it takes all sorts to make the world. But we must act like Jews who believe in collective action to improve upon their fate.

Let us also understand that there will be time for the bereaved families to bury their dead. And when that time comes, we should be there, at least financially, for those families that have lost their loved ones.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment for us to ensure that those families that are in pain get some relief, no matter how small. I know such fundraising initiatives had existed when this struggle started. I would urge all Anglophones of goodwill to set up bank accounts wherever they are, especially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Germany, France and Nigeria where there are huge concentrations of Anglophones. Let us understand that united we stand and divided we fall. We may disagree on the final objective, the strategy to achieve our goal and who should be our leader, but we must agree that those who are in pain need our help. Let us not fail them as they and their families are looking up to us. This is not the moment for us to start bickering on who is a federalist or a secessionist. Let us bear in mind that the big picture is for our people to know a better life.

Thank you for your understanding and may God bless you all.


Joachim Arrey

About the Author: The author of this piece is a keen observer of Cameroon’s political and economic landscape. He has published extensively on the country’s political and economic development, especially in the early 90s when the wind of change was blowing across the African continent. He has served as a translator, technical writer, journalist and editor for several international organizations and corporations across the globe. He studied communication at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and technical writing in George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. He is also a trained translator and holds a Ph.D.