Not to be mistaken with Ethnic Nationalism which stresses on a shared heritage based on a common language, a common ethnic ancestry and often times a common faith, where negative emotions for other peoples is even stronger than the positive emotions one has for the land and the people he or she identifies with; Union-nationalism is love for your diverse geo-political entity above love for yourself, your religion, your ethnicity and/or your region to the point where you feel you are betraying yourself and your country whenever you do something that hurts the interest and integrity of the land and its people.
Kamerunism is that union-nationalistic love applied to the lands of the former German Kamerun that mirrors all the good intentions the people ever had for it.
- A political cause for reunification, independence, democracy, freedom, liberty, equality and development of the territories that resulted from the partition of the German colony of Kamerun following the defeat of Germany in World War One(British Cameroons and French Cameroun).
- A militant cause that involved a partisan war against the oppressive French military rule in the former French Cameroon and against the system the French put in place under their puppet Ahmadou Ahidjo when they granted the territory independence in 1960, a system that is being managed today by the Paul Biya regime and that the French political mafia in Africa (FrancAfrique mafia) would like to see continuing for eternity.
Believers in that noble cause for the founding of a New Cameroon have been called all sorts of names by their detractors (from bandits, to beheaders---cutting heads---, to maquisards with a negative connotation, to Biafrans, to enemies in the house etc, etc, etc) by their detractors.
But who are or were these believers to themselves in the complex arena that is Cameroon, in their quest to build a New Cameroon, in the crazy world of geo-politics where right becomes a wrong if it does not suit the interests of the powers that be?
They are/were Cameroonian nationalists. Some historians even call these supporters of the historic UPC, OK, KNDP and SDF of 1990-1997, radical nationalists. True, theirs was an unusual nationalism that involved bringing together a diverse people (linguistically, religious-wise, ethnic-wise and even racial-wise) for a vision to build a better society that would be a microcosm for the rest of Africa; theirs was an unusual nationalism that showed the way forward to other diverse communities, for other countries, for Africa and for the world at large. Theirs was the nationalism for the future—an inclusive nationalism that even supersedes patriotism, a unifying form of socio-political solidarity that the world needs today. The nationalism is a unique brand of Union-Nationalism or unity of nations. Cameroonian union-nationalism or Kamerunism is the national ideal that seeks to harness the potentials of the people of the land and bestow the benefits to everyone who identifies with the historical Kamerun, Cameroons, Cameroun or Cameroon (1884-1911 and 1914-today) in the process of nation building irrespective of language, ethnicity, race, religion, region.
Now, what precisely is Cameroonian union-nationalism and who exactly are the union-nationalists or Kamerunists? The writings or excerpts below provide part of the answer to this all encompassing ideal for humanism.
“…Cameroonian Union-Nationalism is the national ideal that would realize the New Cameroon. It is the ideal around which Africa shall realize its political union and economic integration…”
Adherents and supporters of the vision(s) of the historic UPC (1948-1970), the OK (One Kamerun), KNDP (Kamerun National Democratic Party) and the historic SDF(1990-1997), parties that were against the unrepresentative French-imposed system in Cameroon that exists against the wish of the people, parties that were committed to the cause to bring down the system, realize democracy, devolve power and responsibilities ( call it two state, ten state or whatever number of federal units, I am okay with it), are union-nationalists. It is they who fought, died, campaigned and voted for the realization of Cameroon’s reunification and independence. It is they the system has reserved the harshest treatment against. These union-nationalists—Anglophone union-nationalists (English-speaking), Francophone union-nationalist (French-speaking) or bilingual union-nationalists— are the majority in Cameroon.
Arrayed against the union-nationalists are the Anglophone, Southern Cameroonian, Ambazonian, Anglophile, Francophobe, etc nationalists of West of the River Mungo; Also arrayed against the union-nationalists of Cameroon are the Francophiles, Anglophobes, UC, CNU, CPDM and other political parties including the morphed SDF that are the upholders of the evil system, parties that sometimes put on the garb of Cameroonian nationalism, when to them, it is a means to an end. The nationalism of the afore-mentioned two groups or these later groups lack a union content—hence, they are not union-nationalists.
The goals of both the English and French-speaking union-nationalists in the 1950s were to reunite the two territories and pursue the ultimate Cameroonian dream. The New Cameroon was envisaged to:
- Build a genuine bilingual ethos.
- Bridge the gap in the development of the English and French-speaking sectors.
- Work for the evolution of a New Cameroonian people from the different breeds of thoughts and actions of its francophone and Anglophone children.
- And create a democratic, liberal, free, progressive, united, strong and developed Kamerunian nation.
The ultimate goal of the union-nationalists is the economic union and political integration of Africa.
Union-nationalism is the most advanced form of patriotism you can find anywhere in Africa. We know patriotism is putting your love for your people first, for people who are usually of a particular ethnicity or nationality. Union-nationalists are more psycho-socially advanced to the point where they embrace multi-ethnic groups as one, without having biases.
On the other hand, other forms of nationalism that union-nationalists reject involve hate of other people or people other than one's people, which is hatred of others that do not conform to the group or ideology these rabid nationalists consider themselves to be a part of.
Also, as indicated in the article CAMEROON’S UNITY AND THE HOPES AND FEARS OF THE KAMERUNISTS (UNION NATIONALISTS):
“The union-nationalists of Cameroon are pragmatic revolutionists, progressive reformers or radical evolutionists. These are men and women who grew up being what they are more as a confection of circumstance than of what was bestowed upon them by birth that gave them a social identity. These people greatly developed or did not suppress their human touch. Unlike most, they do not find it easy to live without the slightest spasm over the pains and suffering of their fellow compatriots. Unlike most, they have put their purposes far above personal considerations and even above their personal interest, an uncommon quality. By dwelling on their humanism, they consider the alleviation of the pains, turmoil and nightmares of their compatriots over the alleviation of their personal well-being. It is because of their all-embracing humanism and deep awareness of the Cameroonian reality that they accepted the fact that the demanding task of alleviation cannot be based on individuals who are so many and complex as separate entities. Cameroon’s union-nationalists are acutely aware of the fact that the task of alleviation should be for the entire Cameroonian people. They know that Cameroonians have been dishonored, oppressed and traumatized en-masse and not separately.”
In The CAUSE WE HAVE CHOSEN: the Union-nationalists of Cameroon are further described as:
“…the advanced and humanized Cameroonian patriots who accept the usage of revolutionary, reformative and/or evolutionary methods in the appropriate circumstances to achieve the best for the Cameroonian people. They feel so much for the wellbeing and future of the land and its people that they are prepared to engage in a prolonged struggle against the retrogressive system in the country than accept conciliation that would continue depriving the people of their freedom, dignity, liberty and hope....
...A person who has Cameroon at heart; a person who grieves over its pathetic vulnerability, bondage, despondence and malady; a person who cannot afford to live in indifference; a person who cannot live without thinking, scheming and working to rid Cameroon of the suffocating bondage of the French-imposed system, should consider himself or herself a Union-nationalist. From revolution as a tool of change, the Union-nationalist accepts that those unworkable, repressive, servile, and anti-people ties, structures, institutions and concepts should be destroyed and new ones created to replace them. The Union-nationalist also accepts the reformative path in situations where the demand is for the improvement or amelioration of existing structures, institutions, ties, concepts and more, so that the wellbeing of the people would be enhanced to a state that is far better than their current situations. Also, by harnessing the evolutionary process of change, the Union-nationalist stretches pragmatism to the utmost by accepting the fact that change can also evolve in line with the pace of nature. If we bend our heads, cast aside our egoism and egotism and sincerely search for answers to the Cameroonian quagmire, we would observe with blinding clarity that the different aspects of Cameroon’s malady call for revolutionary, reformatory and evolutionary cures―depending on the extent of the malady pinpointed…”
The line of Cameroonian union-nationalism has been clearly articulated since 1988. This is the vision that the majority of Cameroonians on both sides of the River Mungo believe in.
Janvier Tchouteu February 14, 2013