Varsities Threaten Industrial Action If Government Fails To End Crises In Anglophone Cameroon

The Varsity Dons noted that ransom paid for the release of their colleagues is estimated at over 200 million FCFA ($400,000) for the University of Bamenda alone, showing a growing insecurity pattern.

Cameroon’s National Syndicate of Teachers of Higher Education, popularly known by its French acronym SYNES, has threatened to call for a strike if the government fails to initiate immediate actions that would bring a lasting peace in the restive english-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest of the country.

In a communique signed on Monday, Nov., 15 and published on Tuesday, Nov.,16 by Blaise Mtopi Fotso, the Secretary General of SYNES, following an explosion on the campus of the University of Buea on Thursday, November 11, the SYNES stated that the Buea incident “came to add to the numerous cases of kidnapping of teachers in the universities of Buea and Bamenda.”

The National Syndicate of Teachers of Higher Education “informs the national and international community that it is in the absence of initiatives in favour of peace, and in case of new threats to the freedom, corporal integrity or to the life of a single member of the national university community,” the communique read.

“The National Bureau of SYNES will be obliged to purely and simply envisage the suspension of academic activities in the state universities to preserve the lives of students as well as teaching and non-teaching personnel until when conditions will be once again put in place with a view to the serene return to teaching and research activities.”

The group added that the ransom paid for the release of their colleagues is estimated at over 200 million FCFA ($400,000) for the University of Bamenda alone.

While extending their sincere condolences to the families affected by the Anglophone crisis, SYNES “condemned with the last energy, the authors of the explosion in an amphitheatre of the University of Buea and those taking teachers hostage.”

It called on those who have taken up arms to give peace a chance by making themselves available for dialogue  to return peace to the Anglophone regions.

SYNES also called on the government to “take the leadership for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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