Nearly six months after the onset of the crisis in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, the situation does not seem to have completely diminished. Schools are practically shutdown, the leaders of the strike are still imprisoned and the population continues to squeak.
On 20 April 2017, the Head of State of Cameroon ordered the restoration of the Internet connection in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. It was three months after the first cuts had been made.
In these regions, which account for about 20% of the 24 million inhabitants of Cameroon, people have jubilated, happy to have the Internet, and especially social networks. But that’s all. For in this part of the country, the frustrations remain intact.
Anglophone leaders still imprisoned
It is normally on 24 May that the trial of 27 people including three Cameroonian leaders of the Anglophone protest accused of “acts of terrorism” will open. Translated into military courts, many of them risk the death penalty.
But the worst, fears the Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa (Redhac), is that hundreds of young people arrested along with the leaders of the Anglophone crisis are at risk of being forgotten in prison because of the media coverage of key leaders.
The lawyers, who were due to make their return on May 2, do not intend to let go of the ballast until their colleagues are released from prison.
School in half-tone
This threat of paralysis also hampers the education system. While in some cities such as Buea (South-West) a few students are timidly resuming their way to classes, especially at the government bilingual high school, this is not yet the case in other cities. In a report on the issue, Le Monde notes the case of the town of Tiko where schools remain deserted.
Some parents fear retaliation by the strike supporters. Others have simply decided to send their children to study in big cities like Yaoundé.
Despite this, the government refuses to mention any blank year in this part of Cameroon. For this, the GCE board, the body that administers the examinations of the English subsystem, even extended the deadline for enrollment. Candidates for the various examinations had until 20 March 2017 to finalize their registration while the examinations are supposed to take place in June.
Refusal to dialogue
In Yaoundé, however, there is much hope for the Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism promoted by decree on January 23, 2017. Placed under the authority of the President of the Republic, the mission of the commission is “to promote bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon, with a view to maintaining peace, consolidating the national unity of the country and strengthening the will and the daily practice of living together of its populations “.
A maneuver that comes to put back to the Greek calendars any project of negotiations with the anglophone leaders many of which call for federalism. A claim radically rejected by Yaounde who remains in her position.