Sunday, November 28, 2010


Map of the World

Cameroon on a Map of the World

I have observed compatriots with thought formulations that make them impeccable union nationalist who reject the evil system oppressing us by striving for the future New Cameroon that would be an embodiment of liberty, democracy, freedom, progress, unity, peace and advancement. Yet, some of these compatriots sometimes sound like advocates of the system/Biya regime when it comes to the defense of Cameroon's unity.  While trying to defend the unity of Cameroon, it is easy to fall into the trap where one finds himself unconsciously propping up the Biya regime and system. Recently an exponent of change fell into that trap of appearing to exonerate the system and its regimes by minimizing the marginalization of the people in the different regions of Cameroon. The system bears far more of the responsibility for the people's underdevelopment, and not the other way around.

That some people survive better than others while under oppression does not mean that the different peoples (ethnic groups, nationalities, linguistic entities and regions) were not oppressed and that the system should not be faulted for being anti-people. Every people deserve an entitlement to the resources around them, as is the norm in any civilized nation. The fact that the most oppressed people in the history of humanity (the Jews) are considered by many to be the wealthiest does not mean that it is the fault of other oppressed people who failed to be self-sufficient, or that the underdevelopment of nations and people in Africa and elsewhere in the world is not the open or tacit, full or partial responsibility of foreign powers (directly or indirectly). Some people thrive under adversity while others are retarded or held back  by it. But that does not mean that those who thrived couldn’t have done even better if the country had been open, free, just, democratic and non-discriminatory.

On the other hand, I fault kwalar N's article for its intellectual dishonesty. He ended up doing more of a disservice to the people he appears to be siding with. I suggest he does more research to have a better understanding of this nation's history and people.

A little research would have taught him that Buea was the capital of this geo-political entity (at the time German Kamerun) before the capitalwas ultimately moved to Douala following the eruption of the Mt Fako (Mt Buea or Mt Cameroon). He would not have missed the fact that in 1910, the first liberation movement in Black Africa was formed in Cameroon under the leadership of Mebenga Mebono (Martin Paul Samba), a multi-ethnic movement  that left an imprint in the four southernmost provinces. He would have known that Martin Paul Samba, the Duala king Rudolf Manga Bell and a host of other prominent Kamerunians were hanged by the Germans in 1914 for conspiring with the British, French and Belgians to liberate German Kamerun. That the victorious Allied powers reneged and occupied German Kamerun instead, partitioned it further and treated it as conquered German territory should be eye-openers to Anglophiles and Francophiles. Kwalar would have known that the pro-German traditional rulers and their people suffered massively after and that the British and French relied on the former anti-German rulers and peoples to consolidate their grip on the partitioned former German Kamerun.

The agendas of OK (One Cameroon) and KNDP (Kamerun National Democratic Party) had strong UPC support. They were the force behind the victory in the plebiscite. Those who voted in British Southern Cameroons were legal residents (long time and born, so there was no transfer of UPC people to vote in the plebiscite. Meanwhile in British Northern Cameroons, the registered voters increased by 2.6 times (260%) within a year and a half. (Figure that out). A case in point is the fact that my father, their generation and the generation before them in the family who moved to the "Coast" during the era of German kamerun to work, trade and seek for a better life, like many other ethnic groups in Cameroon; supported reunification. Look at the historical annals of Saint Joseph College Sassed, the sole at the time and the school that churned out the vast majority of English speaking administrators for the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the backbone of an era of administration many of us are proud of. As an entity, a highly disproportionate number were from across the Mungo. If we are proud of that era, then we should be proud of them too for their honesty, patriotism, integrity and ideas as committed nation-builders of the post-independence Cameroon.

In Cameroon, the problem is not between Anglophones and Francophones. It is not even tribal or ethnic. It is about an oligarchic system that has no loyalty to the people; it is about a system steered today by the Biya regime, one that cannot muster a majority support in any of the ethnic groups and linguistic entities in Cameroon. The truth is that yesterday it was Fulani-dominated under Ahidjo. Today, it is Beti-dominated under Biya. Moreover, individuals from all corners and from all the ethnic groups of Cameroon are involved in the mafia-setup (our relatives, friends and tribesmen).

In the SDF dominated Limbe in the 1990s, I was privy to be working with what many considered to be the nerve of the party's intelligence gathering, and suffice to know that SONARA was a black hole that no patriotic Cameroonian could tolerate (Souleyman, a Fulani etc opposed the pillage by joining the SDF and lost his job, while others stuck with the CPDM and got into SONARA---Francophones and Anglophones alike). Our known petroleum reserves were expected to be depleted in 2008 and production started falling in 1989. Only recent economically viable discoveries (offshore mostly) will allow the reserves to run until 2013. With oil constituting less than 30%(from 80% in the 1980s) of government revenues today and with a decline in economic growth rate, little foreign investments and with Cameroonian businessmen investing abroad, time is on the side of the exponents of change. Makeshift reform moves by the regime in power that are nothing else but whitewash are an attempt to save itself from bankruptcy. It has been parasitic on Cameroonians, forgetting that as the nation languishes toward its  death, the evil system too would die.

At a whim, heads of nations have changed the names of their countries, cities, constitutions and history, but that does not change geo-political, social and economic realities. The fabrics of the nation (the people) stood the same. That is the situation in Cameroon. And the New Cameroon will be born from the great Cameroonian people and not from the names and slogans that the evil system is using to coat the Cameroonian reality. The system is living an illusion, but it would be foolhardy for disadvantaged Cameroonians to live an illusion as well, an illusion  that only gives credit to the regime in power and the anachronistic French-imposed system that has  been haunting Cameroonians  for six decades.

Monday, November 15, 2010


We are all temporary instruments in the hands of providence. An exponent of change committed to taking his people to a better future should expect his legacy to be the positive results of his engagements that might not even be realized during his life time. So it is irrelevant whether his/her name is mentioned or not by the people whose, economic, social, spiritual, or physical welfare the exponent of change is out to enhance.

The questions likely to be asked about such an exponent of change are:

Why is he doing it?
What is his purpose?
What is his conviction?
What values does he believe in?
Is he involved out of a blinding emotion,  for self interest or for an ideal above himself  that seeks to alleviate  the misery of the majority of  Cameroonians?

If the answers are in the negative, then we should be curious and try to go deeper. Because it is the responsibility of a believer in a cause to make sure that it does not get betrayed or tainted by self-seeking advocates, especially if the true believer or advocate is not less of a supporter than any of those brandishing it for their own ends.

It is easy to understand the pains from the mess that the political leaders have caused during mankind’s short history.  That’s why I think it is advisable that when we write, we try to confront ourselves and the reality in order to: make better judgments, learn lessons and never repeat the wrong actions of those we believe or believed in before. This is especially so in a cause that is at a complicated junction; because as it is often the case, many of its militants, members, supporters and sympathizers tend to have difficulties identifying the true the enemies and might even make mistakes in engaging their true friends. And unless those identifications are made based on the virtues of a right cause; exponents of change risk being trapped forever.

Posted by: Janvier Tchouteu | Wednesday, 23 February 2005


Monday, November 8, 2010


I have observed after the self-defeating path taken by the opposition leaderships in Cameroon that the fallout of that betrayal affected  the post-independence generations  the most;  and that those of us  born in the 1960s and after, still have a lot of work to do  on our  thought formulations. Nevertheless, I am happy that we have taken the first step in that direction. Many of our compatriots commenting in the multiple forums or online groups are now talking of changing the system, unlike the pre-independence so-called opposition leaders who were talking of changing the Biya regime or the government. That is a positive development. Fru Ndi-led SDF, Njoya-led CDU, Bouba-led NUDP etc failed because they were incapable of rising up to the challenge of confronting the depth of the Cameroonian malady(the short comings of the system)and of coming up with an alternative direction and values to lead Cameroonians to the change and a desirable society. In fact,  their paths of conciliation veered too far away from the noble path of Cameroonian Union Nationalism  conceived by Martin Paul Samba and Rudolf Manga Bell; brought to prominence by the historic UPC of  Um Nyobe, Felix Moumie, Ernest Ouangie, Ndeh Ntumazah, Abel Kingue and  Ossende Afana; immortalized by  Foncha  and the Reunification Movement in British Cameroons;   and upheld today by the vast majority of Cameroonians that reject the anachronistic French-imposed  system and who crave  for the New Cameroon.

Changing the system calls for fundamental changes in ourselves. It involves rejecting all the wrong values of the system, even if it means doing so to our detriment (economic, social and political). Such a rejection requires identifying our enemies, who in reality are those who are sustaining the system. That could be us, people in our families, personalities in our tribes or ethnic groups that we look up to, revered figures in a movement or political party that we support or even an idea that we are benefiting from. Besides the mental ability to identify the enemies, we also need the ability to identify the true friends of the people. I say so because during the third phase of the Cameroonian struggle (1990-2002), more effort was made to hunt and betray the true friends of the people (the union nationalists and revolutionaries) by the cliques in the leaderships of the so-called opposition parties, than was made to confront the system and the Biya regime. And unless the true friends of the peoplethe union nationalists and revolutionaries lead the struggle, it becomes difficult, if not impossible to imagine that change can ever take place in Cameroon.

Posted by: Janvier Tchouteu | Tuesday, 15 February 2005 at 11:56 AM


Monday, November 1, 2010


Map of the World

Cameroon on a Map of the World


On my forsaken deserted niche,
Sounds of silent memories abound,
Their meaning like a dead weight on my soul,
Their images like a picturesque view in my mind.
Our dreams transpire like a train to my goals.
Cameroon sustains my hopes and dreams
            How will I live through my required exile?
            How will I close my eyes to my sick fatherland?
            Can I forget about our Cameroon for a while?
            Can I detach myself from the struggle?
            Can I be apart from the liberation of my fatherland?

    Written while on a train from Moscow-Minsk                          October 01, 1995

An exile is one who lives voluntarily or against his will, out of the country he identifies himself with because of the unaccommodating system back in the homeland. The exile fears for his life, his freedom, his family and the arrested development of the world he identifies with in his home country. Though being threatened by annihilation, the exile continues to see himself as an unyielding opponent that would forever be committed to bring the system down. The exile’s cause is justified if its purpose is to alleviate the wellbeing of the vast majority of the oppressed people he identifies with, and seeks for the advancement of humanity in the process. He is hailed all the more if the progressive ideas he professes are not welcomed by the system because it stands as a threat to their selfish and oppressive rule. As is often the case, the causes espoused by exiles with the human touch are right; and most often, their lives in exile are gruesome.

      Committed exiles with a clearly defined thought formulation, especially an ideology that is understood  or is being rapidly  embraced  by the oppressed  and struggling  masses that need freedom from the oppressive system; and who have an effective organisation, leadership and  resources;  are the  most potent  threat  to the system they oppose  if they are prepared to confront  it  all the way  until they replace it with a progressive, free, democratic and prosperous system.
     It has been observed that the external awareness of the exiles’ cause, the limitlessness of their resources and the wide space within which to operate, make them the winners in a clearly defined struggle.  The committed exiles are the revolutionaries.

      The history of humanity has shown that revolutions have mostly been led by exiles. The French revolution, inspired by the American Revolution, was heavily influenced by Frenchmen from America. Russian exiles, though wretched and deprived, mustered their enthusiasm, ideology and simple purpose, and led the workers and peasants into realising the most far-reaching revolution of the century. Ho Chi Minh returned from exile, rallied the Vietnamese people and rid the north of Vietnam of French rule. His legacy would later chase the Americans out of the south. Mahatma Ghandi was an exile. Laurent Kabila kept alive the Lumumba legacy to return and kick Mobutu out of Zaire. Kagame took Rwanda from exile.  The ANC returned from internal and external exile to realise the most peaceful revolution in Africa. The list goes on and on.

     Today, the vast majority of the people accept that political change through the machinery put in place by the system is impossible. Change can only be realised by a massive uprising by the struggling, cheated, dynamic and patriotic masses who are overwhelmingly in opposition to the system and the current Biya regime; or by soldiers of the future revolution who would have to risk their lives to realise the hopes, aspirations and dreams of the patriotic struggling masses. Logic, rationale, hopes and demands call for adequate preparation and   the spread of the national idea that would have to replace the current anachronistic system. Such a colossal task would require the huge contribution of men who have tasted exile’s bitterness, who cherish the Cameroonian identity; it would require the involvement of men who have been planning, scheming and working for the liberation of the nation in its entirety. Exiles of the revolutionary strain are expected to be patriots and union nationalists to the core; they are expected to be men who in their all-embracing dreams for a progressive Cameroon, prefer to live in any part of the free Cameroon  rather than abroad.

        The system that has been oppressing Cameroonians and the Biya regime that took over its leadership are doomed to fail. They have made dialogue, compromise and understanding impossible with patriots who have suffered to realise Cameroon’s progress, freedom and reputation as an aspiring humane society; and they are continuing to persecute, eliminate and deprive these patriots with noble intentions of their attachment to Cameroon. To deprive a human being the peace he/she requires at home is to deny the person happiness. For no matter how you look at it, Cameroon’s exiles who are hunted at home are the initiated soldiers of the country’s unity, freedom and democratic drive; they uphold the values of humanism that would give the country an honourable place amongst the society of progressive nations. These exiles are the biggest assets for the revolution that a stalled quest for change requires.

     The future new Cameroon would have to reconcile itself with its past. It would have to give every single Cameroonian the opportunity to start a new chapter in their lives and make honourable contributions to the country’s progress. The future new Cameroon would have to forgive. But then , what do we do with the upholders of the outdated system  who do not want to embrace the future, who  are continuing to  ensure that  Cameroon’s children do not return to the fatherland  that they love? The future, new, united, free and progressive Cameroon harnessing the potentials of its returned exiles and guided by its union nationalism, would be flexible or even magnanimous enough in dealing with its unrepentant citizens.

Tchouteu Janvier                                           26-10-1997.