Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Cameroon: The Continuous Search for National Integration

Emmanuel Anyefru

Abstract


The federal constitution of 1961 stated that the Federal Republic of Cameroon shall be constituted from the territory of the Republic of Cameroon, hereafter to be styled East Cameroon, and the territory of the Southern Cameroons, formerly under British trusteeship, hereafter to be styled West Cameroon. Thus, the constitution established a federation that embraced two different political and cultural systems, English and French. Taking this view into consideration, it is not surprising that the operations of the federal systems in East and West Cameroon were different. The implementation of the federal constitution had far greater implications for the political process in West Cameroon than it did in East Cameroon. As an independent state, the Republic of Cameroon made only minor institutional adjustments to absorb West Cameroon, as the line between the institutions of the state of East Cameroon and those of the federation was quite blurred. In forging ahead with a new nation, the Republic of Cameroon is still struggling with the implementation of national integration policies that will cater to the diverse nature of the country. Today, Cameroonians of English extraction feel that the government’s position that Cameroon is one and indivisible is contrary to the federal constitution of 1961, which guaranteed the rights of the two Cameroons to coexist as separate entities. Through systematic state machinery, the government has tried to neutralize any attempts by Southern Cameroons to assert themselves as equal partners with East Cameroon in the new state.


Full Text:

PDF




Published by the University of Florida Press on behalf of the Association of Global South Studies.