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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:University Students' Revolt, Ethnic Militia, and Violence during Political Liberalization in Cameroon
Author:Konings, PietISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Cameroon
Education and Oral Traditions
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
Law, Human Rights and Violence
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1514793
Abstract:The political liberalization process in Cameroon was marked by protracted strike actions on the campus of the University of Yaounde during the period 1990-1996. Political liberalization provided space for students to organize and voice their multiple grievances about the poor living and study conditions on campus as well as the process of 'institutional liberalization', which blocked their pursuit of upward mobility. The unprecedented degree of violence that accompanied the protracted strikes may be attributed not only to the persistent refusal of the university authorities and the regime to enter into any meaningful form of dialogue with the students, but also to the internal divisions among the students along party and ethnoregional lines. The major lines of division were between two groups: the 'stranger' students organized in the Students' Parliament and closely allied to the radical opposition; and the 'autochthonous' Beti students organized in the Committee for Self-Defense and the Beti militia and closely allied to the regime in power. In their fight with Parliament, the latter groups resorted to violent forms of ethnic exclusion to reestablish control over what they considered to be their university and to maintain their regime in power. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]