Tensions continue to escalate in Cameroon as the October 9th presidential elections draw closer. Concerns about the economy, the country’s rampant corruption, and Paul Biya’s longtime tenure as President continue to incense voters. However, here in the Anglophone region of the country, linguistic marginalization is also a major issue. For years, the English-speaking minority in Cameroon has experienced oppression in education, politics, and business at the hands of the Francophone majority. Since October 1, 2011 marks Southern Cameroon’s 50th anniversary of independence from Great Britain, Cameroonian Anglophones have intensified their advocacy for an end to this political, social, and economic marginalization.
Official celebrations for Southern Cameroon Independence were held over the weekend in the former colonial capital of Buea in the Southwest Region. On Saturday morning, roughly 400 citizens marched to advocate for Anglophone independence from the rest of the country; the police responded by arresting over 50 protestors and detaining them for almost 24 hours.