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吉蒙·希尔顿·恩度空:一个怪异的历史进程


喀麦隆同时被英法两个国家殖民过,今天,这一独特的殖民烙印仍很明显——同时作为官方语言的英语和法语;包括普通法系和大陆法系的双重法律体系;并存的盎格鲁-撒克逊与法国教育体系


文I吉蒙·希尔顿·恩度  《喀麦隆论坛报》国际新闻副主编     翻译I邓哲远     图片提供I吉蒙·希尔顿·恩度


60年,法属喀麦隆独立,成立喀麦隆共和国;1961年10月1日,英属区的南部地区决定与喀麦隆共和国合并,组成喀麦隆联邦共和国。今天,这一独特的殖民烙印仍很明显:同时作为官方语言的英语和法语;包括普通法系和大陆法系的双重法律体系;并存的盎格鲁-撒克逊与法国教育体系。

 

地理位置、规模和邻国

尽管英国和其他西方势力曾认为喀麦隆属于西非,但现在一般认为喀麦隆地处中部非洲。喀麦隆国家领土呈三角状,形似手枪扳机,居民约2300万,土地面积为475442平方公里,海岸线长402公里。

喀麦隆西接尼日利亚;东北界乍得;东与中非共和国接壤;东南与刚果(布)为邻;南与加蓬、赤道几内亚毗连;喀麦隆南与西南是大西洋海岸。

 

族群、行政设置

喀麦隆有超过250个族群,每个族群都有自己的语言、信仰体系和传统。全国被划分为10个大区,由总统任命的地方长官进行管理。说法语的地区是极北大区、北部大区、阿达马瓦大区、东部大区、中部大区、南部大区、滨海大区和西部大区,另外两个说英语的地区是西北和西南大区。现任总统保罗·比亚(Paul Biya)在1982年11月6日上台,掌权至今,权力继承自当时自愿辞职的前任总统阿赫马杜·阿希乔(Ahmadou Ahijo)。

 

名称起源

喀麦隆(Cameroon)或者喀麦隆共和国(Republic of Cameroon)常被不同人称为卡麦伦(Kamerun)、卡麦隆(Kameroon)或者喀麦隆斯(The Cameroons)。喀麦隆这一名字来源于15、16世纪来到这里的葡萄牙探险家。他们发现武里河(River Wouri)河口盛产虾,于是将这条河命名为“虾河”(“Rio dos CamarÕes” or “River of Prawns”)。这一名字后来被接受为周围地区以及整片领土的代称。

 

早期殖民历史

喀麦隆最早的居民被认为是俾格米人的巴卡部落和巴格耶里人(Bagyeli stock),他们居住在今天东部和南部地区森林里。班图部落民随后到来,18世纪70年代和19世纪,富拉尼穆斯林游牧民到达,并占据了北方地区。第一个踏足喀麦隆领土的欧洲人是16世纪的葡萄牙探险家,但是直到19世纪70年代后期抗疟药发现后,其他欧洲人才逐渐渗入内地。19世纪,基督教传教士也多次涉足这一地区。到了今天,基督教在人们的精神生活中扮演了重要的角色。

德国殖民统治、国联委任统治

在殖民者瓜分非洲前,葡萄牙商人和荷兰奴隶贩子就已经定居在喀麦隆了。1884年柏林会议上,非洲被欧洲列强瓜分,德国被给予喀麦隆(当时称Kamerun)的控制权。德国人的首都在布埃亚(Buea),即今天说英语的西南大区的首府,后来被转移到如今的首都雅温得(Yaounde)。德国一直控制着这片土地,直到1916年一战期间被英国、法国和比利时驱走。但是德国人留下了重要的遗产:勤奋精神和很多今天仍在使用的基础设施。

一战结束后,英国和法国以国联委任统治的名义瓜分喀麦隆,分别占据了20%和80%的领土。英国将所控制地区进一步划分为北喀麦隆和南喀麦隆,1914年被划入由南、北保护国合并而成的尼日利亚殖民地:北喀麦隆被并入以卡杜纳(Kaduna)为行政中心的北尼日利亚地区,而南喀麦隆则加入以埃努古(Enugu)为统治中心的东尼日利亚地区。


⬆曾出任喀麦隆联邦共和国副总统的约翰·恩古·丰沙博士(左)曾担任总统的阿赫马杜·阿希乔(右)

 

联合国托管、争取自治、独立

1946年,分别说英语和法语的两块国联委任统治地区被改为联合国托管地。在数年自治后,法语喀麦隆地区在1960年1月1日从法国独立,成立喀麦隆共和国。

然而,法语地区在独立前后陷入暴力冲突之中。具有共产主义倾向的喀麦隆人民联盟(the Union des populations du Cameroun,UPC)及其武装力量在民族主义的立场上,为了自治而发动战争,他们认为法国人提供的方案包含了许多附加条件。这一暴动导致数千人死亡,并驱使很多人前往南喀麦隆(即后来的西喀麦隆国家)。

尼日利亚议会中,南部喀麦隆代表的煽动促生了自治的西喀麦隆。这一国家有其总理、议会、民事服务和警察部队,且少有英国监管。尼日利亚剩余地区在1960年10月1日获得独立,导致南北喀麦隆的命运悬而未决。

 

联合国独立公民投票

1961年2月11日,联合国在南北喀麦隆组织公民投票,以了解公民对于获取独立的看法:是加入尼日利亚联邦还是喀麦隆共和国。“彻底”独立或者成为主权国家的选项遭到英国,以及后来联合国的反对。投票结果显示,北喀麦隆的大部分人民选择加入尼日利亚(今天尼日利亚东北部的阿达马瓦州和塔拉巴州)。而南喀麦隆则选择加入喀麦隆共和国(今天喀麦隆西北地区和西南大区)。

 

喀麦隆联邦共和国

南北喀麦隆的独立最终在1961年10月1日成为现实。在经过喀麦隆共和国首任总统阿赫马杜·阿希乔和总理约翰·恩古·丰沙博士(Hon. Dr John Ngu Foncha)领导的西喀麦隆(前南喀麦隆)领导层的协商后,喀麦隆联邦共和国诞生了。根据协议,西喀麦隆和法语喀麦隆保持自治,而联邦议会和阿赫马杜·阿希乔领导的政府将在喀麦隆共和国首都雅温得管理新成立的联邦共和国。约翰·恩古·丰沙博士被任命为喀麦隆联邦共和国副总统。

 

⬆保罗·比亚从1982年至今担任喀麦隆总统


1972年5月20日,转折点!

1972年5月20日,总统阿赫马杜·阿希乔宣布举行关于改变国家和管理形式的全民公决,指出联邦协议被证明成本高昂、效率低下。东喀麦隆(即已经消失的喀麦隆共和国)的大部分法语居民参与投票,结果没有意外。西喀麦隆一些支持联邦体系的人认为,联邦条例遭到破坏,但是阿希乔自有办法。

大量的赞同票使得阿希乔有余地废除联邦制以及东、西喀麦隆的多党制,并以中央集权制、由喀麦隆民族联盟(Cameroon National Union, CNU)控制的一党制取而代之。他将国家重新命名为喀麦隆联合共和国,并罢免了副总统约翰·恩古·丰沙博士。这一废除联邦的决定,结果成为了新国家的肉中刺。

 

阿赫马杜·阿希乔的突然辞职

1982年11月6日,时任总统阿赫马杜·阿希乔出人意料地自愿辞职,并将权力转交给总理保罗·比亚(Paul Biya)。比亚延续了喀麦隆民族联盟的一党统治,后在1985年3月24日创立了喀麦隆人民民主运动(Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement ,CPDM),以取代旧政党。保罗·比亚后来将国名从喀麦隆联合共和国改为喀麦隆共和国——即1961年统一时法语喀麦隆的国名。

 

未遂政变、多党民主的到来

1984年4月6日,共和国卫队中的不满分子试图推翻保罗·比亚的统治,但是遭到军队镇压。被认为支持血腥政变的前总统阿希乔与其他被逮捕叛变者一齐被判处叛国罪。已经流亡塞内加尔的阿希乔不久后去世,安葬于塞内加尔,一直到今天。而保罗·比亚赢得了自1982年上台以来的历次总统和议会大选。

 

经济、安全挑战

喀麦隆和其他很多国家一样,都面临着全球金融体系动荡和石油价格下跌带来的经济挑战。然而,喀麦隆经济仍能够抵御这些冲击。2014年5月17日,喀麦隆、乍得、尼日尔、尼日利亚和贝宁多国领导人在法国巴黎会面,宣布向地区恐怖组织博科哈拉姆(Boko Haram)全面开战。

喀麦隆军队和多国联合武装在对抗喀麦隆北部叛军方面已经取得了巨大成就,但是叛军仍然时不时地发动自杀式炸弹袭击。另一方面,政府正在全力应对邻国中非共和国武装团伙的零星突袭。

 

遭到质疑的当前国体

统一56年后,在喀麦隆说英语的地区,一些人继续要求讨论目前的国家形式。2016年10月开始,西北和西南大区卷入了一场非暴力反抗运动中,期间普通法系律师、教师、大学教员罢工,学生罢课,鬼城抗议(一种抗议形式,类似于罢工)。尽管政府已经做出一些让步,但这一地区仍未恢复正常。

尽管一些温和的、说英语的喀麦隆人要求回到1972年前的联邦体系,而强硬者则坚持说英语的这两个地区应当独立。总统保罗·比亚已经明确表态,称“喀麦隆只有一个,不可分割。”这已经排除了回归联邦制度的可能性,更不用说英语地区的独立。


1884年以来喀麦隆大事记
1884年
喀麦隆成为德国殖民地。
1916年 德国在一战中战败,英国和法国接管喀麦隆。
1919年 根据《伦敦宣言》(London Declaration),喀麦隆80%的领土授予法国,20%给予英国。英国将统治地区划分为北喀麦隆和南喀麦隆,并且都通过尼日利亚进行管理。
1922年 国联授权英国和法国在喀麦隆进行委任统治。
1946年 英国和法国在喀麦隆的委任统治被联合国托管取代。
1960年 法属喀麦隆独立,成立喀麦隆共和国,阿赫马杜·阿希乔担任总统。
1961年 根据联合国全民投票,南喀麦隆以加入喀麦隆共和国的形式独立,成立新的喀麦隆联邦共和国;北喀麦隆加入尼日利亚。
1972年 全民公决将喀麦隆联邦共和国转变为单一制中央集权国家,并且重命名为喀麦隆联合共和国。
1982年 总统阿赫马杜·阿希乔自愿辞职,并将权力转交给时任总理保罗·比亚。
1984年 阿赫马杜·阿希乔开始流亡,后被指控策划军事政变。
1984年 比亚将国名从喀麦隆联合共和国改为喀麦隆共和国。
1985年 执政的喀麦隆民族联盟停止运作,喀麦隆人民民主运动取而代之。
1986年 西北省尼奥斯湖(Lake Nyos)毒气泄漏,导致大量牲口和约1700人死亡。
1992年 保罗·比亚在第一次多党选举中获胜。
1997年 主要反对党抵制大选的情况下,保罗·比亚再次当选总统。
2002年 在与尼日利亚的边界争议中,国际法院(International Court of Justice,ICJ)将巴卡西半岛(Bakassi Peninsula)的主权判给喀麦隆。
2006年 尼日利亚从巴卡西半岛撤军,并将半岛控制权移交给喀麦隆。
2008年 议会修改宪法,允许总统保罗·比亚竞选第三个任期。
2011年 保罗·比亚在大选中大获全胜,反对者指控选举作假。
2012年 前资深内阁部长马拉法·哈米杜·亚雅(Marafa Hamidou Yaya)因挪用公款被判处监禁。
2014年 军队被派往与尼日利亚交界的东北边境,与牵制恐怖组织博科哈拉姆。
2016年 喀麦隆英语区因不满被中央政府边缘化,出现非暴力抗议运动。



A Peculiar Historical Experience


By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong,Sub-Editor for World News with Cameroon Tribune bilingual daily newspaper



Two States joined together on October 1,1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. This peculiar colonial past isevident today in the use of English and French as official languages, thepractice of a bi-jural system comprising Common Law and Civil Law, and theentrenchment of the Anglo-Saxon and French systems of education in the samenation. Kimeng Hilton Ndukong throws a glance at the history of Cameroon or “Africain miniature” as the country is fondly referred to.

 

Location, Size, Neighbouring Countries

Cameroon is generally accepted to belocated in Central Africa, though the British and other Western powers have inthe past referred to the country as being in West Africa. With a triangularshape that also takes the form of a pistol and a well marked-out trigger,Cameroon is a fairly small nation of about 23 million inhabitants. The landsize is 475,442 square kilometres, while the coastline is 402 kilometres long.

To the West of Cameroon – the longest landand maritime border – is the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with Chad in theNorth-East and the Central African Republic to the East. The Republic of CongoBrazzaville is in the South-East, while Gabon and Equatorial Guinea are in theSouth-Centre. The coastline borders the Atlantic Ocean in the South-Centre andSouth-West.

 

Ethnic Groups, Administrative Set-up

Cameroon boasts over 250 ethnic groups,each with its language, belief system and traditions. The country is dividedinto 10 regions administered by Governors who are appointed by the President.The French-speaking regions are Far North, North, Adamawa, East, Centre, South,Littoral and West; while the other two are the English-speaking regions ofNorth West and South West. The President is Paul Biya, in power since November6, 1982. He took over from the pioneer President, Ahmadou Ahidjo, whovoluntarily resigned.

 

Origin Of Name

Cameroon or the Republic of Cameroon hasbeen variously referred to as Kamerun, Kameroon and The Cameroons. The countryowes its name to Portuguese explorers who arrived in the territory in the 15thand 16th Centuries. After discovering abundant prawns in the estuary of RiverWouri in the present day economic capital, Douala, they named the river, “Riodos Camarões” or “River of Prawns.” This name was subsequently accepted asreferring to the surrounding areas and the whole territory.


⬆ The outcome of the February 11, 1961 plebiscite organised by the United Nations saw Southern Cameroons joining the independent Republic of Cameroon.


Early Colonial Past

The earliest inhabitants of Cameroon werethought to be Pygmies of Baka and Bagyeli stock who live in the forests of theEast and South Regions today. They were followed by Bantu tribes people andlater Fulani Muslim herdsmen who took over the northern part of the countryduring the late 1770s and 1800s. The first Europeans to set foot on Camerooniansoil in the 1500s were Portuguese explorers, but it was until the late 1870sthat other Europeans penetrated the hinterland after finding a cure formalaria. Christian missions also made important forays into the territory inthe 19th Century. Today, Christianity plays a major role in the spiritual livesof the people.   

 

German Colonial Rule, League of NationsMandate

Portuguese businesses and Dutch slavetraders established in Cameroon before the scramble for colonial possessions inAfrica. At the Berlin, Germany Conference of 1884 during which Africa was splitup amongst European powers, Germany was given control of Kamerun. Their capitalwas in Buea, headquarters of present day English-speaking South West Region,before being moved to Yaounde, the present national capital. The Germansremained in the territory until 1916 when they were booted out by Britain,France and Belgium during World War I. But the Germans left behind a stronglegacy of hard work and solid infrastructure – many of which stillstand till today.

Following the war, Cameroon was dividedbetween Britain and France. The French took 80 per cent of the territory whilethe British got the remaining 20 per cent – all under theLeague of Nations mandate. Britain’s share was further divided into NorthernCameroons and Southern Cameroons and added to Nigeria which had earlieramalgamated in 1914 – thus bringing the Northern Nigeria and Southern NigeriaProtectorates into a single British colony. Northern Cameroons was attached tothe Northern Nigeria Region administered from Kaduna; while Southern Cameroonswas joined to the Eastern Nigeria Region ruled from Enugu.   

 

UN Trusteeship, Struggle For Autonomy,Independence

The League of Nations Mandate over Englishand French-speaking Cameroons was renewed in 1946 with the two becoming UnitedNations Trusteeship territories. French-speaking Cameroons finally got independencefrom France on January 1, 1960, becoming the Republic of Cameroon. This waspreceded by some years of relative autonomy and self-rule.

However, the French-speaking territory wasmired in violence before and after independence as the Union des populations duCameroun, UPC Communist-leaning political party and armed group undertook a warfor self-rule on a nationalist agenda, arguing that what the French offeredcontained a lot of strings. The insurgency, which claimed thousands of lives,sent many people into Southern Cameroons (later known as the State of WestCameroon.)

Agitation by representatives of SouthernCameroons in the Nigerian Legislature led to the creation of the autonomousState of West Cameroon with a Premier, Parliament, Civil Service and PoliceForce, with little British oversight. The rest of Nigeria eventually gainedindependence on October 1, 1960, leaving the fate of Northern and SouthernCameroons undecided.

 

UN Independence Plebiscite

The United Nations on February 11, 1961organised a plebiscite in Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons to seek thepeople’s opinion on achieving independence by joining the Federal Republic ofNigeria or The Republic of Cameroon. The option of “outright” independence orbecoming a sovereign State was opposed by the British, and consequently the UN.The vote saw majority of the people in Northern Cameroons opting to joinNigeria (today’s Adamawa and Taraba States in the Northeast.) Those in SouthernCameroons opted to join the Republic of Cameroon (today’s North West and SouthWest Regions.)

 

The Federal Republic of Cameroon

Independence for Northern Cameroons andSouthern Cameroons finally became reality as from October 1, 1961. After priornegotiations between Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first President of the Republic ofCameroon and the leadership of the State of West Cameroon (former SouthernCameroons) led by Premier Hon. Dr John Ngu Foncha, the Federal Republic ofCameroon was born. Under the arrangement, West Cameroon and French-speaking Cameroonwere to maintain their autonomy, while a Federal Legislature and government ledby Ahmadou Ahidjo was to run the newly united nation from Yaounde – also thecapital of the Republic of Cameroon. Dr John Ngu Foncha was appointed VicePresident of the Federal Republic Cameroon.

 

20 May 1972, The Turning Point!

President Ahmadou Ahidjo called areferendum on May 20, 1972 to change the form of State and governance, arguingthat the federal arrangement had proven to be too costly and inefficient. Theresult of the vote, which involved the majority French-speaking people in theState of East Cameroon (as the defunct Republic of Cameroon was subsequentlyreferred to), was a foregone conclusion. Some West Cameroon supporters of thefederal system contended that the terms of the union were violated, but Ahidjohad his way.

The overwhelming “yes” vote gave him theleeway to abrogate the federation and multi-party systems of governance in WestCameroon and East Cameroon, replacing them with a unitary, centralised one-partyState controlled by his Cameroon National Union, CNU party. He renamed thecountry the United Republic of Cameroon and fired Dr John Ngu Foncha as VicePresident. The decision to scrap the federation however turned out to be athorn in the flesh of the new nation ever since.

 

⬆ The April 6, 1984 aborted coup by the Republican Guards against the government of President Paul Biya claimed many lives


Ahmadou Ahidjo’s Surprise Resignation

Much against expectations and the times,President Ahmadou Ahidjo voluntarily resigned his position and handed overpower to Prime Minister Paul Biya on November 6, 1982. Biya continued theone-party CNU rule for some time, later creating his Cameroon People’sDemocratic Movement, CPDM, on March 24, 1985 to the replace the old party. PaulBiya later changed the name of the country from the United Republic of Cameroonto the Republic of Cameroon – the same appellation of the French-speaking partof the country at reunification in 1961.

 

Aborted Putsch, Advent Of MultipartyDemocracy  

On April 6, 1984, disenchanted members ofthe Republican Guards tried to overthrow Paul Biya, but the attempt was quashedby loyalist troops. Former President Ahidjo, who is believed to have supportedthe bloody putsch, was alongside arrested mutineers tried and found guilty ofhigh treason. Ahidjo, who was already in exile in Senegal, later died and wasburied there where his body remains till today. Meanwhile, Paul Biya has wonevery presidential and parliamentary election since coming to power in1982.  

 

Economic, Security Challenges

Cameroon, like most other nations, faceseconomic challenges following the turbulence in the world financial system andcollapse in oil prices. However, the economy has been quite resilient to theshocks. The leaders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin, meeting inParis, France on May 17, 2014, declared an all-out war against Boko Harammilitants terrorizing the area. 

Cameroon’s military and the JointMulti-national Task Force have made significant gains against the rebels innorthern Cameroon, but they continue to launch sporadic deadly suicide bombattacks. On the other hand, government is doing everything to containoccasional forays by armed gangs from the Central African Republic. 

 

Present Form Of State Questioned 

After 56 years of reunification, somepeople in English-speaking Cameroon have continued to demand a review of thepresent form of State. The two regions of North West and South West have sinceOctober 2016 been embroiled in a civil disobedience campaign characterised bystrikes by Common Law lawyers, teachers, university lecturers, boycott ofclasses by pupils and students, and ghost town protests. Though government hasmade some concessions, is not yet business as usual in this part of thecountry.

While some moderate English-speakingCameroonians are demanding a return to the pre-1972 federal system ofgovernment, hardliners are bent on obtaining nothing short of independence forthe two English-speaking regions. President Paul Biya has already made clearhis stance on the matter by stating that “Cameroon is one and indivisible.”This precludes any return to the federal system of government, talk less ofindependence for English-speaking regions of Cameroon.