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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cameroon: A Country United by Ethnic Ambition and Difference
Author:Nyamnjoh, Francis B.ISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:political systems
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/723686
Abstract:This article examines what keeps Cameroon together despite widespread instability in Africa, despite the turbulence of the subregional environment, and despite Cameroon's own internal contradictions. It argues that the politics of regional and ethnic balance, the chronic lack of vision as a country, the lack of real commitment to democracy, the propensity to vacillate on most issues of collective interest, together with an infinite ability to develop survival strategies, have acted to counter all meaningful attempts to pursue common interests and aspirations. Instead of capitalizing upon what Cameroonians have in common, the government has opted for the Machiavellian approach, which is 'devilish or satanically manipulative'. By attaching the elite of every ethnic group to the illusion that having a place in the limelight is just a matter of time for them, the system has succeeded in dividing Cameroonians into the haves and the hopefuls. However, as the 'national cake' diminishes with the worsening economic crisis and corruption, one can legitimately wonder just how much longer the system can continue to deflate the disaffected. Notes, ref., sum.