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“Special Status” for Anglophone Cameroonians Finally Explained

Cameroon’s Opposition Party Expounds Special Status Recommendation For Anglophone Regions

By Njodzeka Danhatu

“Special Status” equals autonomy

Cameroon’s main opposition party, the Social Democratic Front, SDF, says a proposition to grant special status to Anglophone Cameroon implies autonomy of the English speaking regions.

This was revealed on Sunday, October 6 at the residence of the party Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi in Yaounde.

The autonomy according to the party, will be “characterized by a constitutionally entrenched executive, legislative and judicial power with an administrative set up that reflects the aspirations of the people of the North West and South West,” a communique from the party read in part.

Proposals that the two regions be given a special status were made at the just ended Major National Dialogue in Yaounde between September 30 and October 4. The dialogue was meant to end a three-year conflict in the country’s two minority Anglophone regions.

SDF Statement on “Special Status”

At the end of the national dialogue, the General Rapporteur, Felix Mbayu failed to elaborately explain what the special status means and how it will work for the Anglophones.

The SDF boss added that the recommendations called for the reduction of the powers of the supervisory authorities and the suppression of the appointment of government delegates, while decentralization is being strengthened.

“Special Status” to wear Quebec robes?

By detailing the meaning of the status as per provision section 62 (2) of the Cameroonian constitution, the SDF has contradicted those who said there was nothing important in the name, “Special Status.”

The party of Ni John also demanded that the government emulate the status of Quebec in Canada and Hong Kong in China, and apply same in Anglophone Cameroon.

However, former Supreme Court Judge, Ayah Paul Abine said the SDF was out of context to demand a Quebec-style status, noting that the two systems are totally different.

After the national confab, political pundits have cast doubts as to whether the convener of the dialogue, President Paul Biya, will implement the special status proposal, considering that the much talked about decentralization has been in the constitution for about 23 years now.

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