Cameroon: Resolving Crisis in NW&SW Regions

Press freedom.

From education to judiciary, heart-soothing solutions have been brought to legitimate claims put forward by teachers and lawyers of English expression.

Presidential Measures

President Paul Biya first ordered the setting up of two inter-ministerial ad hoc committees: One to look into Teachers' concerns and the other into that of Common Law Lawyers. All were to at term propose lasting solutions to harness the sectors. Fruits of the ensuing dialogue between the stakeholders are visible.


-There has been the creation of the Department of French Modern Letters at the University of Bamenda to bring solutions to expressed lack of French teachers in English-speaking secondary schools. -On November 24, 2017, President Paul Biya created, among others, the National Higher Polytechnic Institute attached to the University of Bamenda. The first of its kind in the English system of education. -In another decree of November 24, 2017, President Paul Biya transferred the Department of Law and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences of the University of Buea to the Faculty of Law and Political Science. -On February 8, 2017, Higher Education Mi nister created a Department of French Modern Letters in the Higher Teacher's Training College of the University of Bamenda. -On April 21, 2017, the Minister equally created the Faculty of French Private Law in the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Bamenda and the same department in the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences of the University of Buea. -Following complaints of lack of teachers in Anglophone technical schools, the Head of State ordered a special recruitment of 1,000 young science and technical teachers. The teachers have been recruited and deployed to all the regions of the country. -On the weak financial capacity of lay private and confessional schools to measure up in the training of the students, the Head of State ordered the setting up of a special fund of FCFA 2 billion to serve as subsidy for concerned schools.


-On April 9, 2018, President Paul Biya signed a decree reorganising the structure and functioning of the School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM). -Among others, the Head of State instructed in Article 24 of the decree that all teachings and training in ENAM have to be in Cameroon's two official languages that are English and French. Article 52 (1) of the decree further states that students of ENAM, besides undergoing compulsory military service as part of their training, must practice bilingualism. -Prior to that, a Common Law Section was created in the school on the instructions of the Head of State who equally ordered the recruitment of Anglophone teachers at the Magistracy and Registry Divisions of ENAM. -A special recruitment of English-speaking pupil Judicial and Legal Officers as well as Court Registrars over a period of four years based on quotas has been ordered. As at now, two batches of that special recruitment are undergoing their training at ENAM. -The OHADA law which hitherto existed only in French language has been translated into English on the request of Cameroon and published in the Official Gazette. A copy was handed over to the Secretary General of the Presidency two days after. On November, 29, 2016, the Minister of State; Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals handed over the copy to the President of the Bar Council. -The Head of State on January 23, 2017 created a National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism. The Commission has the task of maintaining peace, consolidating the country's unity as well as strengthening people's willingness and their day-to-day experience with respect to living together. -On November 30, 2018, President Paul Biya created the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Committee for ex-fighters of Boko Haram and armed groups in the North West and South West Regions. The Committee is responsible for organizing, supervising and managing the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-fighters of Boko Haram and armed groups in the North-West and South-West Regions willing to respond favourably to the Head of State's peace appeal by laying down their arms. -With the instructions of the Head of State, Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, on June 20, 2018 launched an Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Plan for the North West and South West Regions. The FCFA 12,716,500,000 plan targets restoring a living environment that is conducive for the well-being and development of the communities affected by the socio-political situation in the affected regions. It also provides affected persons with emergency humanitarian assistance, ensure their socio-economic reintegration, promote social cohesion and living together as well as rehabilitate damaged infrastructure.


The Head of State on August 30, 2017 ordered the discontinuance of proceedings pending before the Yaounde Military Tribunal against alleged perpetrators of acts of violence in the North West and South West Regions and later that of church leaders. It was through such a move that former detainees like Barrister Agbor Balla, Justice Ayah Paul and Dr Fonterm Neba, among others were freed. -On December 13, 2018, Paul Biya, ordered the discontinuance of proceedings pending before Military Tribunals against 289 detainees arrested for misdemeanours, in connection with the crisis in the NorthWest and South-West Regions. The following day; Friday December 14, 2018, the concerned 289 people were set free in Yaounde, Bamenda, Buea and Bafoussam and they have since been with their families.

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