Cameroon's English-Speaking Crisis

Cameroon’s English-Speaking Crisis Reaches Nigeria

More than 28,000 people have fled Cameroon and entered Nigeria since October this year following increased crackdown by authorities in Yaounde region. Head of the Cross River state emergency management agency said many of them crossed the border on foot and not yet registered.

Cameroon gained independence in 1960 from British and French colonial rules separately dividing the country and currently English-speaking people account for about 20 percent of the total population of 23 million.

Over the last year violence broke in the English-speaking areas where the people always protested against being bias towards their French-speaking compatriots.

Authorities have severely cracked down on pro-independence demonstrations as security situation worsened significantly amid the violence.

Since October dozen soldiers, police officers and civilians have been killed after separatists symbolically declared independent state of Ambazonia.

However, the violence is blamed to be an act of small, well-organized groups in the border areas which is mountainous and forested.

Even the Cameroon government suspects separatists are using Nigeria as a support base and guerilla warfare may take place.

Last week the authorities arrested eleven suspects from Mamfe area who were planning to cross border to Nigeria.

Political analyst in Abuja Nna-Emeka Okereke meanwhile has warned the Nigerian authorities to remain alert and careful about border violence.

Okereke said the separatists may create synergies with Nigerian groups.

It is not to forget the southeast part of Nigeria is heartland of pro-Biafran separatists. About a half century ago a bloody civil war was witnessed following their unilateral declaration of independence.