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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Pens Op-Ed on the Ongoing Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon

The Nigerian author tackles the growing Anglophone crisis in Cameroon in a recently published essay in the New York Times.

The ongoing crisis in Cameroon between the country's Anglophone minority and Francophone majority, continues to threaten the lives of citizens, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee English-speaking regions in order to escape violence.

The crisis is the subject of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's latest opinion piece for the New York Times entitles The Carnage of the Cameroons. In the essay, the celebrated author discusses the personal experience of a friend, originally from the English-speaking city of Bamenda in Cameroon, and the life-long marginalization he's faced as a result. "To be born an Anglophone was to grow up acutely aware of your marginal identity," Adichie writes.

Adichie, calls out the Cameroonian government's neglect of its English-speaking population, and the systemic violence against them.


She breaks down the legacy of colonialism in the West African country, which was first colonized by Germany and later split between Great Britain and France, with France maintaining the larger portion of the country. After independence, the country remained divided, starting out as a bilingual nation comprised of two autonomous regions before doing away with the dual federal structure altogether in 1972 and "effectively swallowing the Anglophone region's autonomy."

"This is a story about an African nation's fatal disregard of its minority population. It is also a story about the muddled sludge of colonial history," reads the introduction.

English-speaking Cameroonians make up about 20 percent of the country's population. Since the beginning of the crisis, hundreds of people have been killed and around 20,000 have fled to neighboring Nigeria. In October, deadly clashes between the government and separatist groups, led to multiple deaths and injuries. Internet access in the region has been blocked on several occasions.

A large influx of people are currently trying to leave the country's Southwestern town of Buea for French-speaking cities, due to threats by separatist leaders that they plan to disrupt the upcoming presidential election on October 7, according to VOA.

Read Adichie's full peice in the New York Times.

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