Cameroon Culture

Cameroon Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Cameroon

According to EHISTORYLIB.COM, Cameroon is a country located in Africa. In Cameroon there is only one daily newspaper, the French-speaking Cameroon Tribune (edition: about 20,000 copies), which has an English-language weekly edition. Important independent newspapers are the weekly Cameroon Post (about 50,000 copies) and the three-day newspaper Cameroon Outlook (about 20,000 copies). However, the overall newspaper distribution is very small (7 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 1996). The press has been under government control since 1966. In 1990, however, freedom of the press was promised.

The state-owned company Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Cameroonaise (CRTV) broadcasts radio in three channels in French, English and a variety of local languages. The television business started in 1985, and broadcasts reach about 75% of the country. Some programs are purchased from France. Radio and TV are mainly financed by advertising. There are 163 radio and 34 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the traditional art in Cameroon consists mainly of sculptures and reliefs in wood as well as ceramics and masks. The music is characterized by rhythmic multiplicity and acoustic song. The country also has several well-known authors.

Singers are often accompanied by a kind of harp- citra (mvet). Contemporary popular music is strongly influenced by Western but also exhibits traditional features. Particularly popular are the dance rhythms macossa and bikutsi.

The Cameroonian author Ferdinand Oyonos (1929–2010) books are counted in the classical literature in Africa and have been translated into many languages. Oyono was primarily concerned with analyzing colonialism and its effects. So did Mongo Beti (1932–2001), another of the country’s foremost writers. Beti lived in exile in France for most of her adult life.

In Swedish there are also books by Calixthe Beyala and Christian Epanya, who is also an illustrator. A contemporary writer is Imbolo Mbue, which was published in 2014 with the novel Behold the Dreamers. It is about a Cameroonian immigrant and a manager at the Lehman Brothers financial institution in New York during the 2008 financial crisis.



The lower house gives regions in the west increased self-government

December 18

A legislative proposal that gives the two English-speaking regions in western Cameroon a special status is adopted by Parliament’s lower house. If the bill is also pushed through by the Senate, the two regions will be given responsibility for, among other things, education and legal issues at the regional level. The bill is an attempt by the government to appease the separatists in both regions (see also October 2019).


MRC boycott the election

November 25

Opposition leader Maurice Kamto says his party MRC will boycott the local and parliamentary elections on February 9, 2019 for fear of election fraud. Kamto believes that the electoral system must be changed before the election is conducted, and that the conflict with the separatists in the west must be resolved before an election can be credible. He urges residents not to take part in the elections.

Parliamentary elections in February

November 10

President Biya announces that parliamentary elections will be held on February 9, 2020. The election, which should have been carried out as early as 2018, has previously been postponed by Biya on two occasions.


Kampto and hundreds of others are released

October 5

Maurice Kampto, leader of the opposition party MRC, leaves prison after President Biya decides to release 330 people arrested in connection with the separatist uprising in the English-speaking regions. Among the released are many MRC members. Criminal investigations against the released are closed. Biya’s decision is praised by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Kampto was arrested in January 2019 for several months leading the opposition protests against the outcome of the presidential election in the autumn of the previous year (see October 2018). A total of around 1,000 people have been arrested since the uprising broke out in autumn 2017.

Increased self-government on a proposal

October 4th

The national dialogue ends with the delegates proposing in a resolution that the two English-speaking areas should be given “special status” in the form of increased autonomy. It would mean increased taxation rights, that the governors of the regions are elected by the local people instead of being appointed by the central government, and that the traditional leaders (chieftains) should be reinstated. The proposal is well received by moderate groupings, while the radical groups that demand full independence (and are not invited to the dialogue) reject the proposal.


National peace dialogue begins

September 30th

The government is launching a national dialogue in Yaounde on how to end the separatist insurgency in the country’s English-speaking parts. The dialogue should last a week. Some separatist leaders participate, while others demand that the talks be held abroad with foreign mediators in place.

MRC politicians are imprisoned

September 9th

Mamadou Mota, deputy chairman of the opposition party MRC, is sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a July revolt among prisoners in Yaounde’s prison. Mota was in custody in prison awaiting another trial, for rioting in connection with regime-critical mass protests. Mota calls the judgment “clearly political”. The MRC leader Maurice Kamto is also facing the right to rise.


Lifetime of separatist leaders

20th of August

A military court sentenced Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, leader of the English-speaking separatists, to life imprisonment for terrorism and separatism. Nine other separatists are sentenced to the same sentence for similar crimes. The ten are also fined a total of $ 422 million. Ayuk Tabe is considered to be among the more moderate separatists and judges fear that the life sentence against him may radicalize the movement. Ayuk Tabe has declared himself President of the English-speaking outbreak state Ambazonia which was formed in October 2017. The announcement of Ambazonia was met by a comprehensive military offensive. Since then, attacks from both sides have demanded around 1,850 casualties according to the think tank International Crisis Group (ICG). The UN estimates that around 530,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, fighting between separatists and government soldiers.


AI: “Fifty million MRC supporters have been tortured”

July 26

Security forces have tortured 59 people who fought for Maurice Kamto, leader of the MRC opposition party, to be released from prison where he has been sitting since January 2019. This is what Amnesty International writes . Kamto was imprisoned together with 107 other opposites. MRC has been organizing demonstrations since October 2018, when Paul Biya won the presidential election that MRC believes was rigged to Biya’s advantage. The 59 arrested must have been beaten with wooden canes, batons and cables in a police repository. They must also have been forced to “walk like ducks in mud”, that is, in a humiliating way.


HRW: At least 170 civilian casualties

March 28

At least 170 civilians have been killed in the separatist uprising in English-speaking Cameroon since October 2018, Human Rights Watch (HRW) writes in a new report. The government forces have killed large numbers of civilians, used indiscriminate violence and burned down hundreds of homes, the human rights organization writes. During the same period, 31 soldiers were killed. According to HRW, separatists abused and kidnapped dozens of people and executed at least two men. The think tank The International Crisis Group (ICG) states significantly higher death rates: over 500 civilians and more than 200 soldiers.

Dozens of opposition prisoners

the 13th of March

Twenty-six people arrested in connection with protest demonstrations organized by MRC leader Maurice Kamto (see January 2019) have been sentenced to one year in prison each, their defense lawyers say . At least twelve of those convicted are MRC members.


Kamto is charged with rebellion

February 13

Opposition Party MRC leader Maurice Kamto is charged with rebellion along with 28 other MRC supporters. Kamto says he was stripped of victory in the October 2018 presidential election and has called for protests against it. He is taken to a prison in Yaounde (see January 2019).

Hospitals are burned to the ground

February 11

Four people are killed when unknown perpetrators attack a hospital, which they then burn to the ground. The attack takes place in the city of Kumba in an English-speaking area in western Cameroon. The city has previously been hit hard by the advance of the separatists. It is unclear if the victims are shot dead or if they die in the fire. It is also not known if these are patients. The attack takes place on National Youth Day, which is the anniversary of the 1961 referendum that led to the addition of English-speaking territories to the French-speaking territories that had just become free from colonial power France (see Older History).

The United States holds military support

February 7

The United States is reducing its military support to Cameroon because of information on human rights violations committed in connection with the offensive against the rebels in the two English-speaking territories. The United States praises Cameroon for its support in the fight against Boko Haram but says it is concerned about the violent offensive against insurgency in the country. Among other things, the United States holds the supply of nine armored vehicles, four combat boats and materials for the refurbishment of an aircraft. The United States is also setting up some training and training for Cameroonian soldiers and is waiting to deliver a radar system. According to the think tank International Crisis Group (ICG), at least 500 civilians and more than 200 soldiers have been killed in the government forces’ offensive against the rebels.


Kamto is arrested for rebellion

January 28

Opposition Party MRC leader Maurice Kamto is arrested by police in a party hangover’s residence in Douala and is being investigated for the uprising. After the arrest, around 300 MRC supporters gathered outside the site of the arrest in protest of the authorities’ actions.

Leading MRC politicians are arrested

January 26

At least three people were shot in connection with a demonstration in Douala in support of Maurice Kamto of the MRC. It reports MRC representatives. It is unclear who unloaded the shots. Kamto lost the presidential election in October 2018 against Paul Biya but has not yet accepted the election result. On the same day, more than 100 people are arrested in connection with regime-critical protests around the country, including the MRC treasurer and the party responsible for Kamto’s presidential campaign.

Cameroon Culture

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