Fight Erupts In Cameroon Over Language Supremacy As Four Reportedly Killed

By Ikenga Chronicles November 23, 2016

Fight Erupts In Cameroon  Over Language Supremacy As Four Reportedly Killed

The clash that broke out on Wednesday in the English speaking part of Cameroon between protesters and police officers have reportedly claimed four lives according to opposition Social Democratic Front Leader, John Fru Ndi.

Lawyers and teachers are opposing the influence exerted by Francophone speakers in their lives in a country that is officially bilingual.

The call for strike by Cameroon Teacher’s Trade Union to protest “against the dominance of their Francophone colleagues” in the education sector triggered the clash.

Reacting, the union’s secretary-general, Tassang Wilfred, disclosed: “For years, until now, we have unsuccessfully tried to bring the government to respond to our grievances.”

“At the heart of the problem is the deployment of Francophone teachers in Anglophone schools. The government, due to tribalism and nepotism, even recruited Francophones to teach English to Francophone children. This is
scandalous.”

The tension between the Anglophone and Francophone parts of the country has also seen lawyers calling for the translation of legal texts into English.

On Tuesday, the police dispersed lawyers who were demonstrating in front of the court of appeal in Bamenda, the main English-speaking city.

During the protests they announced the formation of a new bar for Anglophones, Cameroon-Info.net reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the lawyers, who comprise about one third of Cameroon’s bar, have been on an indefinite strike since October 11 to protest against what they say is the government’s preference for the use of French in the courts, reports the BBC.

Cameroon has two legal systems founded on French civil law and English common law.

Anglophone speakers make up a minority in Cameroon – about 20% of the country’s 22 million people, and most live in the country’s two English speaking regions, the Southwest and Northwest provinces.

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