The Revolution Conundrum in Cameroon: A study of Relative Peace Under President Biya's Rule

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Babboni, Marianna; Occidental College
African Languages and Societies; African Studies; Peace and Conflict Studies; Political Science; Politics and Social Change; Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies
paper description
This paper attempts to answer the question: What are the factors that have contributed to relative peace in Cameroon under the rule of President Paul Biya up until the civil uprisings in the Anglophone regions in 2016? Cameroon has witnessed consistent civil unrest in the forms of protests and strikes and yet the political structure remains strong against all opposition. Within the limitations of the research, the study finds three main explanations: state terror tactics and divide and rule strategies have quelled opposition, the survival culture of the population has resulted in creative economic alternatives that subsidize civil disorder, and the cultural legacies of two colonial powers, the British and the French, influence different citizenship understandings and relationships to defiance. However, although the political situation has remained intact, the country is not unified in the slightest, and the effects of years of corruption, fraudulent elections, and consistent marginalization of Anglophones is taking its toll. The stability of the Biya regime is currently being put to the test in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions. Although the relative peace of the nation is being questioned with this rising Anglophone civil war, this study foresees that the aforementioned factors that have prevented disintegration before will likely prevent a revolution from succeeding once again.