Friday, September 27, 2019

'This crisis is Cameroon's first digital war' Professor Wonyu

Emmanuel Wonyu is a Professor of International Politics and International Relations at IRIC. In this interview, this specialist on issues of cooperation, development and integration discusses the origins and evolution of the crisis in the North West and South West (NoSo) regions.

Why is the socio-political situation in the North West and South West regions described as a crisis?

Professor Wonyu: We are talking about a crisis right now because it already extends over a certain period of time, and because it has repercussions on the life of the country in general. When a crisis lasts long enough, it is difficult to know how far and how it can stop. There is great banditry that has been added, and it must be added that this conflict is also done by social networks. This is the first digital war in Cameroon. Today, there is a manipulation of information through social networks. It has been seen many times, one camp like the other, but especially those who call themselves "Ambazonians" who certainly have many ace of computer science, with this ability to magnify the facts and make them "credible" apparently in international opinion.

What are the distant and immediate causes?

Prof. Wonyu: The crisis really grew three years ago, with the demands of the teachers and lawyers in those two regions. Their desire was that of a perfect bilingualism in the texts and administrative functions, but also, a better consideration of the English language in the country.Only, we have been talking about the English problem for several decades. There were already claims, but they were done, say, in a gentle and restrained way.

At what stage is this crisis?

Professor Wonyu: Today, they have entered a radical phase of secessionism. They have abandoned purely sectoral claims for purely political claims. What they want is to leave the Republic of Cameroon, to demand at the limit federalism, and at the most secessionism. Which is not acceptable on the side of the ruling party and the government of the Republic. This English-speaking question is not only English-speaking, it has become national.The repercussions of the Anglophone crisis have an impact on the economy, on the social side, on living together ...

The population is indeed the one who suffers the most, in an immediate way ...

Pr Wonyu: There is a series of acts that have followed the demands, and then fled the populations (kidnappings, attacks, attacks on institutions ...). Insecurity has indeed grown in the English-speaking area.The number of internally displaced people is estimated at several thousand. There has been fierce fighting between the defense and security forces and the "Ambazonians". At present, it is estimated that nearly 3,000 people have died since the conflict began.

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