Cameroon: Anglophone crisis, the youth bear witness

By Tatiana Mouafo Fofe

Posted on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 08:01
The documentary "Uncertain Future", directed by the association Adisi-Cameroon, is available on YouTube.

The documentary "Uncertain Future", directed by the Adisi-Cameroon association, highlights the impact of the security crisis on the youth of the English-speaking area.

A small shopkeeper goes to the market. Suddenly, her cab is stopped by rebels. Orders from the armed men were given, but the cab driver was slow to carry them out and his vehicle ended up riddled with bullets.

One of them pierces the passenger’s belly… who loses a kidney and must now wear a belt to move around.

Heavy toll

The documentary “Uncertain Future” gets its power from its witness accounts, which brings home the casualness of the terror being meted out in Cameroon, where a crackdown against demands for greater autonomy in the anglophone part of the country is in its fourth year.

READ MORE Fleeing violence in Anglophone Cameroon, life in Douala is a different hardship

The above testimony is given by the victim herself in front of the camera, one of the many poignant stories that punctuate the documentary Avenir incertain.

The film shot between October 2019 and January 2020 by the Association for Integrated Development and Interactive Solidarity (Adisi-Cameroon) emphasises the heavy toll paid by young people in the region. While the world lends a deaf ear, it reminds national and international authorities of the need for a rapid return to peace in this area.

READ MORE Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis: No dialogue between close enemies

Threats, killings, kidnappings followed by ransom demands, forced deportations, burned houses, economic fractures, forced school dropouts… Violence takes many forms. And, according to the producers of the documentary, young people (75% of the population) are the main targets of the separatists, who force them to join their own camp – or eliminate them if they refuse to comply.

The film “is one of the many ways to express what we are going through in the North-West and South-West regions in order to seek lasting solutions to the ongoing crisis,” says Bertrand Abongwa, the film’s main narrator. He himself has not, despite the pressure, left the North West like many other young people and remains hopeful for a pacification in the near future.

With face uncovered

There are no long monologues by experts, nor “characters”, but real witnesses, numerous, who often speak with their faces uncovered and tell their own stories. Language is not an obstacle to understanding: the speakers speak both French and English, and the short film is available in both versions, with subtitles.

READ MORE Anglophone Cameroon: Buea near normal, while Bamenda a ghost town

Avenir incertain can be viewed for free on YouTube but is not yet listed by the platform. To access it, viewers must go through the Adisi-Cameroon Facebook page. Probably a strategy to make its digital pages better known and gain visibility.

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