by Bette Needle
The country of Cameroon is on the brink of a civil war. Minority English speakers over the lack of representation and corruption by French speakers who hold the power. With an election just around the corner, English speakers are trying to take back their autonomy in Cameroon, but they risk destruction of their communities, life styles and what little voice they have left. My thesis will explore the underlying ethnolinguistic conflict between these two groups, conduct an analysis of how this conflict arose, why, and what the real underlying causes are. Language differences is one of the many characteristics that divide a group of people, along with gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, and so on. When language is the clear divider between peoples, as in the case of Cameroon, it’s important to determine whether that’s the real cause for hostility. English speakers in Cameroon are angry about the lack of representation in government. But Francophones in the region want to maintain their power over Anglophones. Why is it that enforcing language boundaries is the one of most effective ways to suppress a people?