Construction and deconstruction: anglophones or autochtones?
Konings, P.J.J.; Nyamnjoh, F.B.
This paper discusses the repression of the identity of the anglophone minority in Cameroon after the initial liberalization of the one-party francophone-dominated State of President Paul Biya since the early 1990s. The reactivation of anglophone identity at the time of democratization became manifest in the emergence of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), the first opposition party, and other anglophone organizations, and this posed a threat to the regime and to the unitary State. The Biya regime has been quite successful in its strategies to deconstruct anglophone identity and disempower the anglophones. One strategy has been a refusal to negotiate about a return to a federal State or peaceful secession, and a resort to outright repression. Another government strategy has been to re-establish control over the media. An important strategy has also been to apply a divide and rule policy and to fuel the existing tensions between South-Westerners, or the coastal/forest people, and North-Westerners, or grassfields people, in the anglophone territory. In this way and through the construction of new ethnic identities, the regime has attempted to crosscut the francophone-anglophone divide. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum
Cameroon; minority groups; Social Democratic Front; separatist parties; federalism
Type of publication|
Article / Letter to editor
The African anthropologist: journal of the Pan African Anthropological Association, 7, 1, 5 - 32 (2000)
Leiden - African Studies Centre
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