It was indeed eventful, the year 2019. In Cameroon, like elsewhere on other continents, life in the various “neighbourhoods” of our “global village” seemed to have been given a restive meaning.
Most surprises were unpleasant but as perpetrators strove to achieve their aims, the powers that be worked hard to understand the root causes of protests, and did all they could, to stall the disturbing trends.
No continent was spared. In the East, pro-autonomy activists flooded the streets of Hong- Kong, calling on the Beijing administration in mainland China to consider seriously their political demands for post-independence autonomy. France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had their share. While Paris battled to keep the Yellow Jersey protesters out of the streets, London and House of Commons, struggled to come to terms with controversial demands of Brexit. Two prime Ministers resigned as the debates escalated giving the way for the new PM, Boris Johnson to come up with a snap legislative elections whose comfortable victory for the Conservatives gave the masterminds of Brexit new hopes.
In Algeria, Nicaragua, Haiti, Libya, Ecuador and Venezuela, to mention but these few, protesters against, repression, corruption or marginalisations kept activists crying loud, but governments faced with the challenges, used their constitutional powers to weather the storms. Elsewhere on our precious globe, the main causes of lack of serenity were not solely political repressions, corruption and marginalization. The ever mounting effects of Climate change and its effects on mankind; xenophobic trends as witnessed in South Africa, and destructive fire accidents as suffered in California, Australia, California and even Cameroon where our lone national oil refining complex was partially destroyed were deadly, and costly.
Besides, the natural disasters which included the Bafoussam landslide which claimed some 43 lives, was the socio- political crisis that has robbed us of peace, precious lives and property since 2016. Efforts made by Government to reinstate normalcy in the North west and South west regions included the holding of a major national dialogue during which many recommendations were advanced to reinstate peace in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.
One of the important recommendations dished out during the dialogue was the granting of a special status to the two English speaking regions of our country, Cameroon. This was highly appreciated.
Considering the lives that have been lost since 2016, property destroyed, the incredible number of Cameroonians out of their country as refugees, and the internally displaced, it is hoped that with the implementation of the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue, the new year, 2020 could usher in new hopes for a stable Cameroon.
Should the twin elections, (municipal and legislative) scheduled for 9 February 2020 be given the democratic importance deserved with Cameroonians committed to reinstatement of peace, in the restive parts of their country, Cameroon can regain its enviable position of Africa in Miniature, and icon of peace on the continent.
The challenge is for us to be committed to the demands of geuine peace and political stability.