21 April 2017

Cameroon: President Biya Orders Internet Reconnection

The decision follows others already engaged by government to bring back serenity and bolster national integration

Residents of the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon can now re-connect with the rest of the country and the world through the internet. According to a press release from the Minister of Communication, the Head of State, Paul Biya, has ordered that internet connection hitherto suspended in the North West and South West Regions in the wake of socio-political uprisings therein be reinstated. The decision to suspend the internet, the communique underlined, stemmed from the fact that 'extremists' took advantage of a strike initiated by English-speaking teachers and Common Law Lawyers, to spread damaging information through the communication medium. To uphold the serenity that is returning to the North West and South West Regions, there was need to reinstate the internet, the communique further notes. This measure comes on the heels of a battery of others earlier taken to address the worries raised by the English-speaking Teachers Trade Unions and Common Law Lawyers. Without being exhaustive, the Head of State has created a National Committee for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism in the country and appointed members. In a press conference on March 30, 2017, the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso, announced wide-ranging decisions taken by President Paul Biya in view of meeting the needs of Common Law practice in the country. These include notably, the prescription of a special recruitment of English-speaking Pupil Judicial and Legal Officers and Court Registrars over a period of four (4) years, the recruitment of a bigger number of Anglophone teachers at the Magistracy and Registry Division in ENAM, the setting up of a Common Law Section at ENAM as well as the decision to set up an Institute of Judicial Studies to train Advocates, Notaries Public and Bailiffs. The Ministers of Justice and Public Service and Administrative Reform have since been taking steps, through the setting up of commissions, to materialize these presidential instructions. Meanwhile, the redeployment of teachers have been going on in the Ministry of Secondary Education as well as the creation of a department of French Modern Letters at the Higher Teachers' Training College (HTTC) of the University of Bamenda.

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