24 April 2017

Cameroon: Internet Restoration in North West, South West - a Measure of Concern

The instruction by the Head of State to reconnect the two regions online was part of efforts to settle the Anglophone crisis.

Sighs of relief heaved by the inhabitants of the North West and South West Regions on Thursday 20 April, 2017 following the return of the Internet reflected the joy of a people regaining modernity after about three months. In effect, recent upheavals in the two regions of the country gave room for certain individuals to go overboard by taking advantage of the apparently anonymous nature of cyber space in the country to create conditions which government could not accept under any circumstance. Announcing the decision by President Paul Biya for the reconnection of the Internet in the North West and South West, the Minister of Communication,

Issa Tchiroma Barkary, stated that, the destruction of property, children molested and prevented from going to school as well as hate literature that circulated and other vices were so intolerable that government had to take its responsibility to ensure safety and security. Some of the confidence-building measures that government has taken since the eruption of the Anglophone crisis include the creation of several ad hoc inter-ministerial committees and commissions to ensure the perfect reflection of a bilingual Cameroon, the creation of new training sections in State Universities, the special recruitment to be lunched for personal of the legal and judicial services in the North West and South West Regions and the introduction of training for Common Law specialists at the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM. While the various steps taken by the government are intended to produce short and medium term results, the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, NCPBM under the leadership of former Prime Minister, Peter Mafany Musonge will be an institution that will have to burn the mid night oil to build a greater sense of unity and cohesion in the country. Through three presidential decrees signed on 15 March 2017 the pioneer President of the Commission, his vice Oumarou Djika Saidou and 13 other people mostly drown from the civil society, professional groups were designated into the NCPBM.

Their eventual commissioning in the days to come will be an occasion for both the commission members and the general public to harness resources for a strong and more inclusive Cameroon. Decree No. 2017/013 of 23 January 2017 to lay down the Establishment, Organization and Functioning of the National Commission for the promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, NCPBM, referred to as "the Commission" pointed out that; "Under the authority of the President of the Republic, the Commission shall be responsible for promoting bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon with a view to maintaining peace, consolidating the country's national unity and strengthening its people's willingness and day-to-day experience with respect to living together." While awaiting the final acts that will enable the Musonge Commission to get to work, the indication today is that the return of the Internet in the North West and South West Regions should no longer serve as an opportunity for people with nefarious ambitions to endanger peace and cohesion in Cameroon.

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