African leaders seem to be taken the issue of Independence and Referendum a totally different way like the rest of the world. The Kurds in Afghanistan voted, Catalonians just cast an overwhelmingly ‘Yes’ Vote to leave Spain, Scotland voted many years ago to leave the UK, Brexit negotiations are still on and many more regions that are seeking to be on their own as Independent countries.
However, in Africa the case is different; Nigeria is facing agitations from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which the Federal Government and the military declared a terrorist group against all other opinions.
In Cameroon, soldiers have killed at least 8 people for seeking independence from the Central African country. Those seeking Independence are from the English-speaking and make up about 20 percent of the Francophone country. The choice of the name of the proposed new country by the secessionists’ group is Ambazonia and one of the protesters was shot dead for raising the blue and white flag of the proposed new nation.
The reason for secessionist agitations is marginalization by the French-speaking region against the English-speaking region. The agitation started gathering steam late last year but Sunday’s protest was planned to happen on the day that the anglophone speaking region got their independence from Britain and decided to join Cameroon in 1961.
One major proclamation from Sisiku Ayuk who claims to be the President of Ambazonia was; “We are no longer slaves of Cameroon”.
“Today we affirm the autonomy of our heritage and our territory”, he wrote on Social media.
The recent protests were escalated by the regime of President Paul Biya who has been leading the francophone country for 35 years.
Businesses were shut down in the two major cities of the region, Buea and Bamenda with soldiers flying over the abandoned urban centre in helicopters.
Some of the reactions from the protesters are;
“I now know that the Biya regime has been raising an army all these years to fight its own people.”
“We are simply fighting for our rights, but the military, which is supposed to protect lives and property, has turned into our greatest nightmare”, she spoke in anonymity.
“We are ready to die for the freedom of our land,” Kenneth Agborbechem.
The Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary has admonished journalists not to give to separatists groups.
“The media must not encourage those who advocate division, who want to destroy and destabilize our country”, he told Reuters.
The President of Cameroon has condemned the activities in a post on his Facebook Account.
“Let me make this very clear: it is not forbidden to voice any concerns in the Republic. However, nothing great can be achieved by using verbal excesses, street violence, and defying authority,” he said.
— President Paul Biya (@PR_Paul_Biya) October 1, 2017