Ambazonia is a region of English-speaking southern Cameroonians, wedged between the majority French-speaking Republic of Cameroon and Nigeria.
Eight million people live in the region, which has been under increasing pressure from Cameroon’s central government to integrate more into the Francophone society. To do so, many allege the government has replaced English-speaking bureaucrats with French-only officials and judges, effectively cutting off Ambazonia’s 8 million Anglophones from their legal and civil rights.
A nascent independence movement has arisen from the Francophone pressure. Dozens of pro-independence protesters have been killed and many have been displaced. Cameroon’s central government is one of the region’s main allies against Boko Haram. Critics say that makes them unaccountable to locals’ sovereign aspirations. Many Cameroonians see the strife as a multifaceted result of French, British, and German colonialism.
Innocent Chia is part of the Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons. He joins us to discuss the complicated postcolonial relations between Cameroonians.