History Never Dies, How Silent Past Returns: Southern Cameroons/“Ambazonia”

Gallous Atabongwoung


In 2016, Cameroon has seen the re-emergence of a silent past that was a ‘pandora box’ waiting for someone to open. Cameroon was divided between Britain and France during the colonial era. The country was ushered into the glories of independence with two dates; 1960 French Cameroon gained independence from France to form “La République
du Cameroun”, and 1961 the British Southern Cameroons gained independence by joining French Cameroon to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
The government of Cameroon reunited the country in the early 1970s without a consideration of how the “would be reunification” w ould a ffect
the both political entities. As a consequence, the government could not reconcile the psychosocial divide of colonial legacy that was already embedded in the fabrics of the two previous colonies. Certainly, history has returned with serious political crisis which led to the outbreak of a civil war that has claimed more than 40 000 lives, caused more than a million internally displaced and more than 50 000 living in neighbouring Nigeria as refugees. The crisis remains a threat to the artificial unity that the state has maintained post-independence. This article attempts to re-trace the history of Cameroon in order to critically position the argument regarding the root cause of the present conflict. The article also expounds on the role of language in reinforcing the question of post-reunification Cameroonian identity. It concludes by providing recommendations needed for a swift action to redress the deep-rooted grievances of former British Southern Cameroonians.

Keywords: Independence, Federal Republic, Reunification, Colonial Powers.

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