On 1 October 2017, the Ambazonia Governing Council (self-appointed in July 2017) declared the English-speaking regions in south-west and north-west Cameroon independent. This followed a year of protests, during which campaigners called for the return of the federal system in force between 1961 and 1972, and for the English language and the English-speaking community to be better represented in institutions and national oil companies.
The independence declaration flew in the face of efforts made by Cameroon’s government: on 23 January 2017, a ‘National Commission on the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism’ was established, despite the fact that 80% of the population in Cameroon — which has been a member of the International Organisation for the French-Speaking World (OIF) since 1975 — is French-speaking.
This secession poses a risk to the presidential and general elections due to be held in 2018 and is compromising the stability of the country, which has been resisting the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram since 2013.
Looking ahead to the 2018 elections and with a view to bringing about a fair and balanced political solution — with particular regard to the French-speaking majority in Cameroon — is the EU intending to support the OIF’s mediation efforts?Read More