Issues of minority rights in the context of political liberalization: the case of Anglophone Cameroon

Anye, Fru Emmanuel
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Abstract This thesis concerns itself with issues of minority rights in the context of political liberalization and how political liberalization has triggered renewed claims to rights in Anglophone Cameroon. This thesis examines how Anglophone Cameroon was systematically reduced to a minority status and how the Anglophone elites are contesting this position. The thesis begins with some historical considerations and moves on to discuss the various phases of colonialism, using historical material to respond to whether or not the seeds of the current conflict are to be found in the way in which colonialism was implemented in Cameroon. The colonial experiences of the Cameroons under the Germans, French and British have not only been the basis for the entity Cameroon, but have also made numerous contributions, negative and positive to the country’s social, economic, demographic and political history. Having considered the historical context, the thesis moves on to discuss the rise of Anglophone Nationalism both at home and abroad. The thesis argues that state policies between 1990 and 2000 led to the development of Anglophone nationalism and the formation of many pressure groups to fight for the autonomy of Anglophone Cameroon. However, because of the government’s silence over the Anglophone problem, this thesis examines attempts to find a national solution to the Anglophone problem to a shift that goes beyond the question of national sovereignty. In analyzing the virtual imagined communities of Anglophone Cameroon, this thesis suggests that cyber nationalism is an effective tool to create networks of resistance to government policies and practice. Anglophone virtual communities in cyberspace have used the Internet as a means to promote a counter discourse on human rights, economic development and democracy in Cameroon. In this regard, the Anglophone online nations have gone a long way to create a substantial impact on events in Cameroon by serving as an important source of information to the Anglophone people. As a way of addressing the limits of the discourse on Anglophone nationalism, the thesis suggests that a lot has happened between the Anglophones and Francophones in terms of intermarriages, investment, migration and common lifestyle that the dichotomy between the two has become blurred.