The AU and the Anglophone problem

EDITORIAL 18 Sep 2018
The AU and the Anglophone problem

From the surface of things it does sound consoling that the African Union is exploring possibilities of finding a lasting solution to the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, using the state sponsored national commission for bilingualism and multiculturalism. Two senior officials of the African Union [AU] commission, comprising Madagascar Ambassador to the AU, Prof. Tchindrazanarivelo Djacoba Alain, and Solomon Olamuyiwa Oluwafemi, of the Department of Political Affairs, have already been on the ground to assess the situation via a meeting with senior members of the national commission for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism.
According to Prof. Tchindrazanarivelo, the Au will be using the national commission for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism in the process, having held a working session with the chairman of the commission. We have time and again said that we Cameroonians in these two affected regions of the country will welcome any move from any Quarters that can lead to a lasting solution to the current crisis. We in this Newspaper sincerely believe that a body such as the African Union bears all the honor and capability to champion an initiative that will lead to a lasting solution. But, that the AU intends to use the national commission for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism in the process of finding a lasting solution to the crisis sounds defeatist on the part of the AU, for the simple truth that that commission has been on for nearly one year and has not been able to find any solution.
It would interest the Honouable Ambassador and his colleague of the Delegation, that the commission they intend to use, has toured the two regions, meeting with whoever it was necessary to meet, and heard all that they were told about the grievances of the people of this regions. Everywhere, where the commission went they were told that the root of the crisis was the unilateral and illegal dismantling of the Federal system on the basis of which the two sectors of the country came into a union.
The voices of the people called for a return to the federal system which certainly will take care of the bicultural nature of the unifying sectors. It is however a matter of bicultural difference of the two unifying sectors in their different inherited tendencies and public life. What we however cannot ascertain is whether these recommendations were actually conveyed to the authorities that assigned the commission to the job. What is evident is that the bicultural nature of the two unified sectors of the country is being downplayed by the authorities to make it take the form of an ethnic or tribal multiculturalism. Obviously the two are not the same: Biculturalism and Multiculturalism. The former refers to two groups with two different cultures, whereas the latter refers to a conglomeration of groups, each having its cultural difference from the other.
For the commission as we see it, having been given the task of promoting bilingualism is in order. But promote multiculturalism in a bicultural set up simply does not make sense. While we continue to wish the AU well in its initiative to help find a lasting solution to the crisis, we would also advice that the issues involved in the crisis be properly examined. If possible we would suggest that an African Union team be sent to the field, following the footprints of National commission for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism, to find out exactly what the real problem is. The general belief is that the Musonge-led commission has failed in its responsibility to produce any meaningful results in its assignment. Let the AU commission chat out a new course on how to find a lasting solution to the crisis. Unfortunately the AU Delegation has been on the ground only to witness the ruthless killings by both government security agents and the secessionist fighters. We are certain that such a gruesome scenario will not impress anyone, talk less of a body such as the AU from which much would seem to be expected because the crisis is an African problem and the AU is there for that.

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