Cameroon – Anglophone crisis: Francophone also victims!

Being a fruit trader  and transporting goods from the Anglophone regions to the french speaking regions of Cameroon is not an easy task during this period of crises. Mercier Sine Marc Edvin  learnt the bitter lesson as he now seeks to flee away for his dear life.

In the course of his duty as food trader, Mercier Sine (a francophone) affirms being witness of humiliation of citizens, rapt, rape and gross injustice to Anglophones with whom he sympathized while on duty. (He buys fruits and other goods from the anglophone region – Bamenda to sell the francophone cities of Douala and Yaounde.

“I can’t stay silence in front of such injustice. We are all Cameroonians and we need to stand for justice whether francophone or Anglophone” confessed Mercier Sine to a local press in Bamenda.

On trying to change stands (A francophone who openly began to support the Anglophone struggle) Mercier was seen as a “traitor” by some francophone (French speaking Cameroonians).

With the ongoing turmoil in the anglophone regions of cameroon resulting in continous massive arrests, Mercier found himself the front line, trapped in the strike, ghost towns and conflict between protesters and the police and had to escape. Abducted, treaterned and locked up for a few days, Mercier succeeded in escaping from Bamenda.

Hhe had to abandon his job as a trader, live in the hiding and trek for long distances because of the “ghost town” as shops public services and local transport remain closed.  As a key witness to human assault, his objective is to leave Cameroon where he feels threatened not only by some Anglophones who see him as a treat being a francophone but also by fellow francophone who see him as a “traitor”; not forgetting the police forces who are tracking down anyone related to this conflict. Thus, Not only Anglophones but equally some francophone do suffer the effect of the ongoing crises.

In Bamenda, the country’s largest anglophone city, at least four people were killed last week when security forces fired live ammunition in the air.

Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty’s central Africa researcher, said: “Responding to incidents of violence during protests with unnecessary or excessive force threatens to further inflame an already tense situation and could put more lives at risk.”

In the ongoing crises, Southern Cameroonians claim do not benefit anything from the French Cameroon and some want greater freedom through federalism while others, the most radicals ask for immediate independence of the English speaking Cameroon.

Lawyers and teachers of the Anglophone section of the country have continued their strike action that started unnoticed, months ago and which resulted in clashes with the security forces with three deaths in Bamenda. Several schools remained closed in the South West and North West regions. The continuation of the mood movement continues due to the failure of negotiations between Prime Minister Philemon Yang and the Anglophone protesters who now claim federalism.

The prevailing situation doesn’t comfort national unity pronned by president paul Biya, as not only anglophones but equally francophones (in the example of Mercier Sine) have become victims of what is today known as “the anglophone crises of Cameroon”.

Kum Albert


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