A humanitarian, social and political escalation is taking central stage in the 2 English speaking regions of Cameroon, a minority community that has cried fouled against long lasting marginalization and inequitable distribution of wealth, in a system where they have been forced to submersion, by a francophone majority, through a highly centralized government. A trivial uprising stemming from basic demands of human rights and a fair society, has now turn into a secessionist movement with a section of Anglophones clamoring for an independent Southern Cameroon, duped the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. This dirty war has drag for more than 3 years now, taking along thousands of innocent souls. Despite all these disturbing assertions it’s difficult to comprehend why many external organizations, notably the African Union (AU) have been indifferent and unperturbed. Their impending silence can only be qualified as a veritable fuel for further escalations and senseless loss of human life. The crisis is fast proving to be a forsaken tale, one which many have decided to ignore, but what really is the cost of this ignorance? I’ll try to elaborate under four main points;
1. The humanitarian aspect
Society and humanity can only thrive if it breeds vibrant and valuable human resource. The idea of a society wouldn’t even exist if a conducive and enabling environment does not exist for human procreation and existing. Human beings are the first and best asset of nature. In this light it wouldn’t be unfair to think anything contrary to these values is “not enabling”.
The Anglophone crisis can be classified as one of those issues that deter the very idea of an enabling and prosperous society. There can be no humanitarian progress with war, whose only fruits are continuous of loss of human life, the very first asset of nature. Its therefore imperative to discuss about this burning issue in order to seek solutions that will help us build a more thriving humanitarian society.
2. Increase Radicalization and deterrence
It wouldn’t be a fallacy to extrapolate the number of vibrant youths who have chosen to be foot soldiers, to the tune of thousands in the 2 Anglophone regions. Radicalization of youths, in fact is arguably the most palpable outcome of the Anglophone crisis, the cost for which, will take a lot of effort and time to settle. It’s also common knowledge that continuation of the crisis has an exponential effect on radicalization of the youths and the effect of radicalization itself, cannot be over emphasized. Having energetic young men, the very backbone of our society, drenched into untold carnage and destruction that is plunging most to an early grave, is an invaluable loss to a society which is striving to emerge.
3. Overriding illiteracy
As the famous Afro-American activists, Malcom X, once stated, I quote; “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. This only means there couldn’t be any progressive society without sound education from the base. The phrase “Sound education” only probes the mind for more insights, as it can never be reachable without a save and enabling environment for it to thrive. Regrettably a crisis situation is neither enabling nor conducive for sound education to take course. Coming back to the situation at hand, statistics predict that more than 75% of children are out of schools in the affected regions. Schools have been burnt down, teachers threatened to death and children radicalized to take arms, all these has only make evident a compounding increase in illiteracy rate, and the figures are only rising. What else could be costlier, outside life itself? If not the education of the future generation.
4. A deepening Economic crisis
The greatest might of a nation lies in its economic indices, which of course is a perfect representation of the living standards of its people. In a crisis situation these indices take their greatest dive, and the corresponding effect is an economy left in ruins.
To paint the picture brighter, lets states some facts; Cameroon’s economy is dominated by trade, telecommunications, financial services and transportation and these accounts for the highest productivity in GDP by 47.9%. However, the internet shutdown in January 2017 indicated severe economic consequences for the economy. According to Quartz Africa, Buea is Africa’s latest technology hub, but sadly this technology boom was hit hard by the shutdown, and the effects are immeasurable. This internet shut down by March 2017 already accounted for 12.7 billion CFA ($22 million) in revenue lost as indicated by Internet San Frontier. Furthermore, this measure also affected the banking sector, as 30% of the banking sector was paralyzed, as banking systems that relied on internet services were unable to carry out online transactions not only within the country but internationally too.
The economic implications of the internet shutdown could be considered the tip of an iceberg, if we consider the direct economic implications of ongoing loss of valuable human resources, not leaving out the colossal destruction of public and private property. While assessment of the possible financial loss incurred as a result of this crisis is difficult, indications reveal that it is grossly enormous.
To conclude, though there are several reasons to take cognizant the anglophone crisis, the above 4 projections stands bold and symbolize a true reason why this topic is paramount and should not be forsaken.