As Cameroon’s government brutal abuse of human rights come under international scrutiny, French citizens are now acknowledging their contribution to the current institutionalised debauchery. France’s use of torture and other forms of violence against the UPC forced UPC leaders to take arms to defend themselves, a French author has claimed. He also claims that the roots of Cameroon government’s reliance on physical violence against its opponents can be traced to the French colonial system, especially French unconcealed and institutionalised abuse of nationalists within the Union of the People of Cameroon (UPC).
“The French repression against the UPC is one of the main factors of the radicalization of the nationalists who initially wanted to be heard without using violence. The assassination of top UPC leaders (Rubben Um Nyobe, Felix Moumie and many others …); the use of torture in special police stations and the mobile gendarmerie positions in the French army (who found pleasure in displaying human heads in the public square) plunged the country into a bloody conflict” a French writer has argued in the French journal, Mediapart.
According to the author, what the Cameroonian government is doing today is similar to what the French did to the UPC—the blatant use of force, pride in displaying decapitated bodies, and imprisonment of all dissidents.
“The problem is that the fold was quickly taken within the postcolonial state where torture is now institutionalized. Torture as an instrument of terror is indeed a colonial legacy, because the violence of precolonial societies was part of another logic: slave trade, ritualized affirmation of its strength, communication with the world of the invisible ….” the author argued.
Today [the Cameroonian government] put this French “heritage” in use to fight against opponents of the regime under cover of anti-terrorism (Boko Haram and Ambazonia …)” the author who only identifies himself as Tip Top and as a scholar in France continued.
Macron has publicly declared his support for the current government of Cameroon even after reports showing evidence of torture and other forms of human rights abuse perpetrated by the government of Cameroon.
In 2006, a top Cameroonian military official who participated in the inhumane annihilation of the UPC regretted his actions and blamed Ahidjo of blindly following French commands. “I regret to have fought and killed UPC ‘marquis’ in the 60s. Under my leadership, we crushed the ‘marquis’ in the Littoral and West Provinces during the reign of late President Amadou Ahidjo” Colonel Hans Anagho said. “It was only after the war that I discovered we were fighting to protect the interest of the French” he told a group of young UPCist.
But the Cameroonian government is not the only side in the current Anglophone crisis that has used violence as a means to its end. Amnesty International has also unearth evidence that separatists are using kidnaps, rapes and arson to promote their course in the South-western parts of Cameroon.