So, I was reading on the internet, when a quote popped out at me.
This is the future of repression. If we do not fight it there, it will happen here.
Twitter Post – 26, January 2017
“What in the hell did I miss?” I said to myself, I knew Cameroon won the African Cup a few days ago, but nothing about Repression. Clicked on the link and brought me to this article about the Cameroonian government shutting down internet for much of the country.
I check the link, Townhall… hmm, I don’t know them. I need to cross check with other sources and see if this is not wildly out of context.
I go and search, and I find a smattering of articles, one was from Quartz, which is a decent place to get African news. (They got me looking at the MMM in Nigeria a few weeks back), and then I saw another from the AP. and then one from CNN. So this thing is real.
This is what is happening.
Cameroon is a bilingual country, English and French. The country has 10 regions, 8 speak French, 2 speak English. In one of the Anglophone (English) regions, there is Mount Cameroon, which happens to be the home of Cameroons growing tech industry. named “Silicon Mountain” The English sections of the country have enjoyed more tech advancement due to the fact that English is mostly run on English. So, the Government has placed that the two Anglophone areas being to speak French in an official capacity. This has brought to boil a long, antagonistic relationship between the Anglophone and Francophone regions of the country.
The result has been months of protests, leading up to the Cameroonian Government shutting off the internet into the anglophone regions, crippling the industry. The shutdown has sparked outrage around the world, and has been continuing for a month. Further the government has arrested activist and have been heavy handed in the response.
Once I knew where to look, there were tons of information. The African news have been covering it extensively, though I will say, outside the one CNN article, I haven’t found much in the way of western English media focusing on this. In addition to internet being cut, there has been suppression of the news, arrests of activist and worry over the human rights of the anglophone population.
Protests are getting violent as schools across the anglophone areas are remaining closed with the rising tensions. There is even rumors of a revolt and independence for the English regions.
With The Gambia now receeding in the news, it is sadly not surprising we are not hearing more about this. With Trump sucking up all the air, it is no wonder we haven’t heard more. I will try and keep an eye on this moving forward. Need to make sure if doesn’t fall through the cracks.