The panel aims to analyse the history and complexity of the current situation in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon. It also aims to discuss 'lessons learned' from academics working on similar conflicts in other parts of Africa, and how they may facilitate a process of dialogue.
The Anglophone regions have been in a state of violent unrest since October 2015. This began with lawyers and teachers protesting against the erosion of the special status for law and education in the Anglophone regions. The national government responded high-handedly, arrested and jailed some of the protesters whom they accused of terrorism. This generated new protests and violence and enabled advocates of secession to move from the periphery to the centre of the debate both in the region and in the diaspora. Since then military force has met rebel force; violence and extortion have become commonplace. Tens of thousands of villagers have been internally displaced or have taken refuge in Nigeria. In October Paul Biya, who is 85 and who has been President since 1982, was re-elected, in an election marred by allegations of intimidation and fraud. The panel aims to analyse the history and complexity of the current situation. It also aims to discuss how academics, local stakeholders, African neighbours and the international community might launch a process of dialogue, taking inspiration from similar conflicts in other parts of Africa. Possible topics: - Current position of the government - Francophone perspectives on the crisis - Motivations and profile of the rebel forces (Amba boys) - Involvement of the diaspora - Ethnicization of the conflict (with respect to the Mbororo) - Internal displacement and humanitarian aid -'Lessons learned' from academics working on similar conflicts (e.g. Eritrea, Somaliland or South Sudan)